Design Inspiration: A Kinetic House

This apartment in Spain by PKMN Architecture, is an inspired bit of space planning and “thinking outside the box”. The client, an artist and designer who works from home, needed a house that provided a series of different spaces. The solution the architects came up with is ingenious. It may not work for everyone, but that’s not the point. It works for the client for whom it was designed. That is the beauty of working with an architect: you get a solution to your problem which is tailored to your needs, not a generic solution that doesn’t address all your needs.

The designers were inspired by the high density storage shelves used in libraries and archives. They divided the space in half, one half, closest to the garden, is left open, the other half of the space has the bathroom at one end and the kitchen on the other, separated by a series of units that slide from side to side, allowing for a studio space, a bedroom, a dining room and more.

Check out the video:

This is a “kinetic” solution. The pieces that define the space move (hence “kinetic”). Architecture is normally fixed and immobile. By putting the space defining units on rails and wheels allows a series of different spaces to be set up and re-arranged relatively quickly and easily by one person. The fixed services (bathroom and kitchen) “bookend” the part of the house which is defined by the mobile units. These units allow for a series of task specific spaces. The larger, open space close to the garden is left open and allowed to take on any number of other, less specific uses.

I am reminded of a couple of iconic Modern houses, the Maison de Verre, about which I have written before, and the Rietveld-Schroder House, both of which are very “kinetic” and interactive as well, with walls that move to expand or enclose spaces based on the needs of the owners at any given time. When you are living in a small space, this kind of interactive space design can help to maximize the potential of a small space to provide as many different kinds of spaces as the owner might need.

If you’ve got a small space that you would like to make the most of, I can help make a bespoke solution meeting your needs.

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