Curtain Call Apartments / Todot Architects and Partners
Text description provided by the architects. The white curtain reveals its presence in the city. The site is surrounded by neighboring buildings on three sides and only one side is revealed towards the road. We have designed a building that reveals its presence like a white curtain in the urban setting. Within the building, a cafÃ© and collective housing coexist, and inevitably, a hierarchy of landlord and tenant is created. By incorporating a facade that looks like a white curtain, we tried to lighten the spatial and visual hierarchies to express a gesture of welcome to visitors and residents.
Composition of four units. As part of the constraints of the neighborhood zoning plan, we decided to project a cafe on the ground floor and four residential units with two bedrooms that extend from the first floor to the attic.
Curtain-shaped facade. The main purposes of the facade were for the narrow and long windows to illuminate the lives of individuals and for the sloping elements to mitigate glare from the west side allowing residents to get closer to the windows.
Concerns for equality. In a three-story project, an elevator becomes a âwhite elephantâ. This is obviously a practical option, but the residential space would be limited and the rental area would decrease. Therefore, the project is designed in such a way that each resident enters their unit on the first floor after climbing the common central staircase from the ground floor.
Four cottage units that look like quadruplets. In the Maisonette composition, the four families can have an attic and a roof garden, eliminating the hierarchy of landlord and tenants and satisfying the physical conditions of an equal living environment. Above all, the attics play a role of a third bedroom rather than an additional room and the roof gardens are a kind of compensation for the outdoor space on the ground floor occupied by the parking lot.
Coexistence of the CafÃ© and the Residences. In a site surrounded by neighboring buildings on three sides, it is almost impossible to satisfy all programs and parking. In a typical design process, the main program accommodation would come first, followed by convenient parking and a cafe. We have nevertheless found an alternative to overcome the constraints. The white curtain catches the attention of passers-by, and the small front yard and concrete bench for the public are designed for the cafe placed further down the street. We envisioned it would become a small gathering space for a group of local residents.