Poché house

The Poché concept comes from XIX century French Fine Arts schools. It was used as an architectonic way of drawing related to solid, but its use was extended to mean the servant and auxiliary spaces, trying to get them hidden and unnoticed inside the apparent mass of the buildings.

The project consists in transforming a flat inside an early 90 ’s housing building. These flats were generous in terms of surface, but also rigid, full of inert spaces. This apartment, conceived only for a specific way of living, had 4 small bedrooms, large corridors, and some useless corners.
The previous diagnosis concluded that it was a dysfunctional flat for its owners, whose lifestyle was far away from the one they had while they lived with their children. Empty rooms with no use but storage, narrow and long corridors that became a problem of mobility, or shared non-adapted spaces to visits, were some of the issues to solve.

Contemporary lifestyles are variable and unpredictable. Concerning it, the project proposes the flat as the seed of a new vital stage, according to these new ways of living related to retirement. An apartment created to guide and develop with its inhabitants throughout these personal and job evolutions. It should admit constant transformations, in contrast to a flat that is not even prepared to erase a wall.

The proposal, consequently, proposes to remove the partitions, creating a fluid space where a series of wooden cores articulate the spatial sequences by sliding elements and doors. Conceptually, these wooden elements were designed as “equipped Poché boxes”, where locate the main rooms servant spaces, such as bathrooms or storages. In this way, the centre spaces are released from specific uses, optimizing their versatility and adaptability.

These wooden cores configure a series of multiple spatial options, remarking the one with two apartments inside the flat. This spatial configuration is important because it allows owners to invite and host relatives and friends in an independent way. This possibility of hosting visits is fundamental to boost social relationships and fight against loneliness.

Materially, the proposal consists of a double strategy:

-Reusing pavement and ceiling sources as maximum as possible. The old marble pavement was respected, relocating some pieces to weave the old ones with the new ones, resulting a perfect integration of the new marble. Regarding the ceilings, the project preserved those that were not affected during demolitions.

-Using wood as the only new material, symbol of a new beginning. This wood, apart from generating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, plays an important psychological role, because it introduces another component linked to nature, and it is well known, that being close to nature improves our physical and mental health.