LEGOflat by I-Beam Design

An amazing idea for a sky parlour redesign arose in the design studio I-Beam Design. Their clients decided that they needed a change, and a brightening of their living. I-Beam Design together with Sean Kenney created a characteristic element for the flat – a new staircase and railing made of 20 000 Lego blocks. This resourceful detail immediately claims the attention of visitors. Lego not only brightens up the room while not disrupting the impression, but by contrast it aestethically and functionally complements the interior.

The project was fairly challenging, because it took two weeks to create only the lego countershaft. Basic colors were used, mostly white, red, yellow and blue. The rest of the furniture was also tuned in this color scheme. A small advice at the end: if your children have already grown up, and you have several kilos of leftover Lego blocks, this might be one of the tips on how to reuse them.


Old Workshop by Jack Woolley

A project by Jack Woolley rehabilitates a worn out carpenter workshop. The original workshop was hidden behind a typical London-esque brick wall which connected neighbouring terraces. This wall, defining the streetline, along with the landscape of tree canopies were preserved. The brick wall became a part of the facade of the house, with the entrance door, visible only as a rectangular cut, seamlessly integrated into the overall appearance.

The residential space was expanded by an additional underground level, which was offset horizontally to allow daylight to penetrate through walk on roof lights running along its length. Materials salvaged from the original abandoned structure were used in rennovation. Pinewood boards from the roof were thoroughly dried, processed and used in construction of the new kitchen cabinets. The new building offers a variety of uses, ranging from residential to work-focused.


House in Izumi – Ohmiya by Tato Architects

Japanese architects of Tato Architects turned a warehouse in Osaka, Japan into a family house where the residents can climb their walls to enter various rooms. The two-storey house designed for a young couple – rock climbing enthusiasts, has a sloped wooden wall with affixed treads for climbing practice on its first floor. The double-height living room and the dining area govern almost half of the residence, and contain a ladder as a shortcut to the main bedroom. During the renovation, the exterior of the building was re-clad in galvanized steel.

Original window frames were also removed and replaced by a single large window. Program of the house contains two rooms on the entry floor, along with hygienical and technical facilities, wardrobe, kitchen and residential space. The second floor is dominated by a large study/workroom and the main bedroom.


polikatoikea | origami ideas competition

Polikatoikea, by the designers Filipe Magalhaes and Ana Luisa Soares, is the winning project of an open-ideas competition for an unique housing proposal, organized by Origami Competitions. The aim of the competition was to provide a thoughtful housing use of the vacant lots of Porto in Portugal. Concept of this project combines a greek rule (polikatoika) and the swedish philosophy (ikea). In the design, this combination manifests itself by the use of simple and easily constructed platforms, upon which the residents can place their prefabricated POD houses that provide everything necessary on a small space. These POD homes offer space for a bed, storage, a kitchen a bathroom, and are located on a private platform, resembling a traditional house with a garden. The rest of the platform space is regarded as an outdoor living space, while offering views of the city. Portugese climate is favorable to these outside spaces, so only small areas of sheltered interior are needed.

Residential complex Le Lorraine by MDW Architecture

Belgian architectonic office MDW Architecture finished a transformation of a scrap metal market site into a residential building. The industrial footprint of the structure is reflected in the choice of materials. The facade is lined with galvanized steel, commonly seen in factories. In contrast to the steel, wooden elements soften the whole image of the object. This complex, designed for residential accommodation is divided into several parts. Directly in contact with the street, the ferroconcrete raster serves as a visual protection and also as a support for decorative natural vines.

Residential part is split into two buildings, each containing different types of apartments. The front part accomodates 4 units with two to four bedrooms. The back part is made of three maisonettes offering higher standard spaces. The buildings are connected by an open forecourt, where the architects created a topographical landscape. The same style has can be seen on three terraces. The parking spaces are located underground and thus completely visually differentiated.


Apartment in Katayama by Mitsutomo Matsunami Architect

Mitsutomo Matsunami took the task to fit an apartment block onto a 110m2 lot and at the same time to not cross a very tight budget as a challenge. His idea was to break away from the uniform stereotype of residential blocks of flats, with windows stacked neatly next to each other. Katayama Apartment consists of seven floors above ground, which are divided into ten flats accessible by an elevator and stairs on the northern side. Several of the flats are in designed in a high-ceiling maisonette style covering 2 floors, which is clearly visible on the southern facade.

The design of the facade itself also takes fire safety into account, which was an additional challange in the development, resulting into an original, variable pattern of the balconies, which still abides the emergency evacuation standards. The life and motion of the interior are projected outwards by the facade, in order to emit the liveliness and energy onto the old fashioned monotonous neighbourhood of Katayama in Osaka. The exterior colours are in a strict black and white combination to enhance the presence of rational minimalism in contrast to the bland beige grey buildings around.


Social Housing

Recently, a new social housing has been constructed in a peripheral part Poljane of a Slovenian city of Maribor. The complex was created by Architectural studio Bevk Perović Architects. The housing is composed by four buildings. Two of them are looking like planks, so the horizontal line is accentuated, the other two are more vertical reminding of towers. The housing complex offers up to 130 social apartments. The project had to take into account the existing build-up area and municipal regulations concerning area planning.

Missing outside public areas were replaced by common inner spaces. There public roofed areas are embedded in the interior of the building and meant to serve inhabitants as children playgrounds or gardens. Apartments are organized around a communication center core with a standard typology. Each of them has its own individuality expressed with coloured balconies situated in different heights what creates a dynamic element. Chosen materials and the dynamic facade have been inspired by mainly industrial character of the surroundings.