“We are looking for a coach house with a guest room and a home office - but where guests don’t feel like there are staying in the home office and the office doesn’t feel like it’s in a guest room”.
The common elements needed to be disguised: to obscure when not used but inevitable when needed.
We used a minimum number of moves required to satisfy the program: a breakfast table/desk, a bookshelf/closet/headboard and a kitchenette/storage unit and designed them to be very simple and unassuming so as to not announce any particular function. The elements were then arranged to choreograph the circulation so the space would unfold inevitably for its use when needed: becoming obvious only once it was required.
Functions are subtly slipped into the disguised elements: closets are tucked in to the bookshelf, the bookshelf works as a headboard and the countertop forms the sink. A mirrored backsplash in the kitchen reflects whatever is happening in the space: work or rest. The oven and fridge can also be fully concealed behind a sliding hinged door. The table transforms into a desk with a subtle long slit allow cable access when used as an office. The client’s thesis research and political manifestos sit quietly next to books on contemporary art and history.
In both cases, the coach house is designed as a refuge from the busy life of the main house and allows both the routine of the young family and guests to carry on with out disrupting one another.