Within a quiet suburban village of vernacular detached houses, the factory that acted like a house was transformed into an apartment block that resembled the factory that never was. The building lives in archetypical innuendo.
Each of the three levels is comprised of two apartments where the extremely low budget imposed very low standards for the construction. Nevertheless, the proposed open plan granted generous areas and various orientations in all apartments, creating a spatial tension between an imposed scarcity of means and a certain spatial luxury.
The geometry of the plan starts from the existing alignment of columns. The axis, off-centred due to the different sizes of the machines that originally occupied the space, provided a grid; from that point, geometry ruled over the general arrangement. Six square rooms, one of them divided in two triangular spaces, a curve, and a small kink. Rules, exceptions, and unbalanced symmetries were imposed to achieve an order. A sequence of equally distanced blue doors aligns with the existing concrete columns and a brutal beam to create a sense of continuity.
The façade is simple and ordered, following rules dictated by the plan. An apparently regular grid of identical windows stresses the purity of the white volume; the rain pipes are disposed in an exuberant manner, to unbalance the composition. The fake cornice, the roughness of the white texture, the repetition of the same opening and the domestic blue door marking the building’s common entrance hold an architectural language of playful restraint.