October 09, 2008

[why do i need you? *warning - many pix*]

I know i don't really talk about my work on this blog. Initially, this blog was meant to be something reserved for my crafting work and also about my days with the girls. However, now that work has creeped into a large part of our lives, the whole work / life combination is no longer a distinct separation anymore. i thought it might be fun to introduce this aspect into the blog. In a way, it is an attempt of trying to find myself within our practice's work. It also gives a more personal explanation to that often 'mystical' aspect of an architect's life.
Lots of people usually ask us this question - why do i need a designer? Shortsightedly, most people often feel that the money that is spent on the design fee is better spent on more expensive furniture, fittings or as part of the construction budget. It is a bit like doing without a make up artist for your wedding in order to buy a lot more cosmetics. In actual fact, the work that we do often adds much more intangible value to the house and of course, creates a work that is much more customised to the owner's needs and wants. Many people who decided not to have a designer have then gone on to manage their own contractors, but realising in the end that it is all about spiralling costs, compounded delays, unforeseeable design mistakes.
We have been fortunate to have a great client that really believed in us, and trusted wholeheartedly the design and fitting out of her 1st apartment, which we completed about 5 yrs ago. This same client has since moved on and bought another apartment, coincidentally, just next door to the previous apartment. We did a complete overhaul, and this is the work in progress pictures :
the original condition of the walk up apartment - 1300 sqft of very dark spaces, this is already slightly more open as the walls have been demolished.
looking at the view through the back - many overlooking issues with the neighbor's unit, and external too.
the main space - low ceilings, not much light, pretty miserable space
a picture of the nondescript externallooking into the dark stairwell.
1st we opened up the ceiling, revealing really wonderful original condition red bricks, a high pitched ceiling and enough height for an upper mezzanine space!to deal with the dark interiors, we placed skylights which immediately brightened up the whole space.
Joinery work was bespoke to the owner's storage requirements, these series of elements were conceived to be a series of 'art pieces' that ran through the entire length of the apartment.laying the timber floors. As the existing flooring was not the most ideal, the cheapest and quickest solution was to add a layer of bonding chemical and just lay the new timber floor above the existing tiles.
More joinery work, taking advantage of the high ceilings to add in as much storage as possible.
Looking in the arrival hallway.
the kitchen was fully customised, with larders, wire baskets, even a movable wine/drinks servery - all in the right place!a hint of things to come
stairs up to the mezzanine
sneak preview of the finished upstairs spaceYay! We're done! :) Stay tuned for the next post on the completed apartment! :)


scrap-myself-silly said...

Ohhhhh...the apartment looks gorgeous ! Wanna see the completed look ...please please please please please please.....

please ....


MarĂ­a said...

Yibbie! I can't wait to see the rest. So far it looks very well designed. And it is so true that people's money are better spent on designers work instead of buying more expensive dining chairs! I know from experience, I got an architect to redesign my little flat of 46 sqm! Good luck!

Maria Worms.