This project entailed the transformation of two, small, conventional apartments into a flexible, pragmatic, urban dwelling. The emphasis to design for flexibility was such that the new live-work environment would accommodate life changes and evolving work, social, and seasonal requirements without necessitating subsequent costly renovations or moves. The next challenges of this renovation were to create a bright space from a dark, north-facing space, and to create abundant storage where none formerly existed.
Unlike the conventional "service space" of any home (bathrooms, storage, closets, etc.) that obscures life's seemingly banal realities, the service areas designed for this renovation — in particular the rolling storage cabinets and red translucent-walled master bathroom — expose and celebrate "everydayness. " Whereas such service areas conventionally segregate "public" and "private" realms, 4-D's service areas recast these two realms as the "private" and the "erotic," challenging our culture's preoccupation with privacy. A bathing area's plumbing wall, for instance, made of glass laminated with sheer, red silk, reveals the body of a bather within, while also silhouetting the "body" of the building, characterized by pipes, waste stacks, and electrical conduit, displaying all of these as ornament through the colored glass. Floor-to-ceiling glass screens that are suspended from an eighty-foot-long track along a window wall also display and conceal. These screens, which are laminated with linen, yielding tactility, slide to permit daytime light or slide again to achieve nighttime privacy. The rolling storage cabinets, clad in similar glass, illuminate like lanterns, permitting the visual suggestion of their private contents.
Paul duBellet Kariouk (Principal)
Chris Davis (Senior Design Associate)
Adam Frankowski (Assistant)
Kitchen Cabinetry and Concrete Work:
Neoform Cabinetry (Lucy Chapman and Frank Prendergast)
Buchan Parent Lawton Ltd., Ottawa
Fire Code Consultant:
Photolux Studios (Christian Lalonde)