DX content partner Stylus discovers a home designed to echo a holiday retreat, and looks at the sanctuary offered by spaces-within-spaces.
While the constant levels of connection promoted by high-tech personal devices have plenty of benefits, their unremitting presence can also prove exhausting. As a result, design that actively facilitates a sense of privacy and respite is becoming a valued commodity.
In 2010, Farnan Findlay Architects designed a home comprised of two distinct zones – one for entertaining, one for solitude – for a family in the seaside town of Port Fairy, Australia. The public area of the home includes inviting windows and terraces. The private wing of bedrooms and bathrooms, which is only connected to the public zone by an external corridor, is concealed from outside view by a movable external screen.
Although it’s a permanent residence, architect Joel Farnan reveals the studio had a holiday home in mind while designing it.
"When on holiday, rest and retreat become more important. The public and private zones do not necessarily feel that different, but when you are moving from one zone to another, you’re made aware that you are passing through a ‘threshold.’ It is a subtle signal that prepares you for the change in the state of mind," Farnan explains.
Architects Joseph Greif and Cynthia Nolting interpreted the idea on a simpler and a smaller scale at their home in Seattle, US, by building what Greif describes as an “urban meditation hut” on an unused part of their back patio.
"As a room of its own, and not an addition, it becomes a sacred space to us. We’ve had many people tell us how important a space like this would be in their lives," says Greif.
Other designers are also registering the desire to transform under-used spaces within homes into peaceful refuges. In 2011, Utah-based interior designer Autumn Clemons turned a client’s unused dining room into a “calming” library space.
“I find that clients are repurposing rooms to fit the way they’re now wanting to live,” comments Clemons.
Most people are choosing to find space in their homes by changing formal living and dining rooms into libraries and music rooms – rooms that they are using daily, versus weekly or even monthly.
For an American home in Maryland, David Jameson Architects created a meditation chamber suspended in mid-air, filling a void that would otherwise be empty. It is accessible via a small staircase that runs upward from a second floor hallway. According to Jameson, the room acts as “both the physical and spiritual centre of the home.”
Read from this Stylus.com feature in the Related Articles below.