The city is a stratum of civilization. There is a different layer of time for a period of hundred years as a number of buildings come and go. Based on the existing architectural context, new buildings constantly are being built, forming a relationship with the past and the city.
In Europe, where ancient urban traces still can be found, it is not unusual to fill the gaps between buildings created in different times with new buildings. In these gaps, the urban context has a stronger influence on the relationship with previous constructions, and architectural constraints are varied and complex. Although it is challenging to interpret from an architectural perspective, the site is interesting enough to apply diverse and unique architectural solutions.
In the buildings, mostly placed on long and narrow lots, interior layout and circulation arrangements are not easy. "4 Room House", located in Antwerp, Belgium, literally is composed of four rooms. The building - a studio and residence for the architect - has an office, a dining room, a living room, and a bedroom on each floor. The building was constructed in a 2.4m wide space with the floor fixed to the wall structures of neighboring buildings.
But when a structure is built on such a narrow lot surrounded by buildings like this, it has a disadvantage in internal lighting, as planes bordering the outside are few. ?ow House,?in an old residential area in Barcelona, Spain, has a staircase called ?ight Well?to solve the internal lighting problem. The sunlight from the rooftop window reaches the living room at the lowest part and flows through this staircase. ?achter House?in Toronto, Canada, is a studio for the artist Charlie Pachter, while serving as a galley/residence at the same time. Long metal frames, components of each floor, are layered in an oblique way so that as much as sunlight as possible can flow in the building.
This also presents a unique identity of the building in harmony with the surroundings. The expansion project of ?ragile,?a Belgian maternity clothing brand, boasts of its unprecedented exterior in the street, which is lined by ancient buildings. The massive glass window in the front with several slim columns matches well with the name of the store - ?ragile.?In addition, a garden was built in a tiny space and some parts of the wall are covered by plants, highlighting the effort to embrace nature into the building.
by EunJung Park