Between Party Walls
BETWEEN PARTY WALLS, as if it were an adjective; that’s what characterizes this intervention in an existing property, made possible by the stubbornness of a family who refused to sell to the highest bidder. They no longer live there; it’s now the dream home of a close friend.
It all started with a gift, this project, which has served as a guide for the alterations that the owner, others, and I have been carrying out with our own inexpert hands. Yesterday marked the completion of 7 years of work.
The only connection between the house and the street is the newly built garage door, which serves as an entrance, and an existing window on the first floor, adorned with a window planter box from which plants cascade over the railing.
From the very start, we understood that the house is attached to the garage/workshop as the “main space”. The other spaces on this floor branch off from it and respond in a more or less intuitive manner to the daily necessities of the dweller. The kitchen occupies a central position and serves as a kind of hinge attached to the patio. The dining room and living room occupy existing spaces and face the interior of the city block. An office/study on the rear patio at the back of the house turns you into a voyeur or mere observer of the home.
The stairway that surrounds the kitchen leads to the first floor, a non-essential space that complements the ground floor. The bedrooms, separated by closet space, engage with the patios and the street. The interior city block façade constitutes the sum of the needs of the interior spaces. A staircase set against it leads up to the roof, now the largest space of the house (BETWEEN PARTY WALLS) and the future living room. This alteration will give continuity to the current intervention.