L’atelier started the design process with the diagnostic phase. This step was a crucial one as it revealed the opportunities and constraints of the project. This methodology was inspired by the creative design process in urbanism, where they use the analysis of the neighbourhood as a source of inspiration to design a project.
For this apartment, the diagnostic phase highlighted several elements. First, the overall floor plan of the apartment is almost square, which was an advantage in terms of fitting all the required spaces. Then, despite its small size, the apartment runs from the front to the back of the building and is only seven metres long. Therefore, every space benefits from maximum natural light. Finally, the three metre high ceiling offers lots of opportunities for verticalisation.
The only constraint in the project was the load-bearing wall running across the width of the apartment. But this wall already had three openings, and they allow enough flow between each side.
Based on these elements, l’atelier decided to create a living area running from front to back of the building to take advantage of the morning and evening light. This space is staggered to create open subspaces, a kitchen and dining room on one side, and a living room on the other. The entrance is integrated as part of this living area, at the junction of the two subspaces.
Then, l’atelier chose to design a compact and vertical area for the bathroom and the children’s bedrooms. In the boys’ bedroom, there are two one-meter high sleeping alcoves, one is located above the bathroom, and the other one is under the elder daughter’s bedroom. This latter sleeping area is reachable via a Donald Juddesque staircase in the living room.