New York, New York
2004 - 05
The client for this duplex residence had one directive: a place for everything.
Our inspiration was the Japanese cabinet, known as <b>tansu</b>. For this project, we created residence-as-tansu. The design centered around a continuous cabinetry lining for every aspect of the owner’s belongings and functional concerns. The cabinetry took on architectural functions as well, creating openings for light, folding into a cantilevered stair, opening up the kitchen, and displaying books as artworks in a continuous, rhythmic pattern. The cabinetry is both functional storage and architectural device.
The residence-as-tansu approach does not stem from the idea that architecture is defined by the shape and functioning of its space. Instead, it proposes that architecture is defined by our perceptions and emotional reactions, in addition to our abstract understanding of the spatial boundaries. It encapsulates both our mental understanding and our emotional reaction, the conceptional and the experience of material. Our solution was to create architectural devices out of what would normally be considered built-in furnishings. It is also a pragmatic approach suited to renovating post-war apartment buildings, where the slab and plumbing risers limit spatial flexibility.