I tried to create a multifunctional space that will support all the requested functions offering them the maximum space available by easily moving some furniture and some partition panels. In order to get this I grouped - as compact as possible - the wet spaces (kitchen and bathroom) near to the existing installation shafts. They are located out of the way, in one of the most disadvantaged part of the apartment (regarding the view and orientation), so that their users do not have to interfere one with each other. I also lowered the ceiling for HVAC installations. Therefore the resulting height in the entire apartment is aprox. 2.50m. By doing that, the remaining space can be easily modified according to the activities mentioned in the brief. The partitions are created in such a way, that even if this apartment is simultaneously used by 4 persons, each of them will have intimacy and will not disturb the others. In the same time it is easy enough to modify the entire apartment, so that even the laziest guy will feel comfortable by doing it. All intimate spaces can be visually and acoustically isolated without having to fold all the furniture.
I hope is not a problem - I used the European measurement units (cm/m/m2/m3).
Some of the key elements:
1. HIDE-ABLE KITCHEN � it is located near the entrance, directly linked with the living and close to the installation shaft. The kitchen is equipped with a state of the art hood (ventilation system) that is linked directly to the ventilation shaft (when it is used). This kitchen is designed for basic cooking. I also placed under the kitchen working area a movable eco bioethanol fireplace � hope you like it � and the Goliath table which can be used as dining table for two persons if it is partially opened in that position.
2. BATHROOM/STEAM ROOM � it is located next to the installation shaft and has the advantage of natural light and ventilation (but also has mechanical ventilation). The shower cabin has a glass folding door which will retain inside the water and the steam vapors and is equipped inside with a foldable wood bench that is used in steam room mode.
In the installation shaft is enough room to implement a system to recycle the water from the sink and use it to flush the toilet.
3. BEDROOM - For Graham�s (queen size) bedroom I used a Resource Furniture queen size bed that can be fitted (optional) with a foldable table and a sofa. The bedroom is situated in the most isolated part of the apartment; it enjoys natural light and has a small window garden. This is meant to improve the poor view from that side of the apartment (courtyard) � (I didn�t considered necessary to have a great view from the bedroom since it is used just for sleep and usually you keep your eyes closed when performing this activity ;-) and spare the nice view for the living room). It has also shaders (shutters) that can be controlled manually or by a remote command.
In order to ensure privacy, the bedroom can be closed with a roll garage door type partition system. In this way you don�t feel pushed to make your bed every day (if you don�t want to) and still have the possibility to invite some friends to your crib (this is for lazy people like me :-)).
If the guys from Resource Furniture make things on order (customade) you could have a square bed 200/200 cm and thus you can choose your sleeping position depending on how you feel more comfortable.
The bedroom space can be also used as an extension of the office if you fold the bed. If you need to enlarge the office working surface, on the back side of the bed it can be added table from Resource Furniture that will go under the bed when it is opened.
4. OFFICE � As required in the brief, this space is organized around a 31� MAC monitor and a laptop. It is located between the two bedrooms and acts as a buffer and a hallway because it is one of the spaces (from this brief) that does not always need intimacy. It can also be a part of the living room. It can be closed/ isolated from the rest of the apartment and it can also be extended � to the left or to the right, depending on the other activities that are taking place simultaneously in the apartment. Some of the doors of this piece of furniture are special finished so that you can put magnets on them.
5. RECICLE\REUSE - the space for composting is located in the kitchen but the space for stuff that will be given to friends or donated can be inside the 6 pouf type chairs; this way you can organize this stuff better.
6. ROLLING TOOL CHEST � it is located in front of the fire escape window and is represented by the two white steps. It can be moved wherever you want. In storage compartment nearby it is placed a cork rug of about 150/200cm that you will unroll on the floor when you wish to make some maintenance work in order not to destroy the floor finishing. This working space doesn�t have a fixed position: it can be created everywhere is needed: in the office, in the living etc. You just have to bring the rolling tool chest and cork rug.
7. ENTERTAINEMENT AND TELEPRESENCE � there are 7 Amina invisible speakers placed on the ceiling so that when you use the partition walls no room will remain without a speaker.
Cisco Umi Telepresence is situated in the living room area where I dare to place a HD TV in order to allow the other persons to watch a movie or use the Cisco without disturbing the guy that is working. Instead of this HD TV it can be used a video projector, but in this case you should keep always the shaders (shutters) down.
8. BIKES STORAGE � it is located near the entrance, where the furniture is black in order to avoid bike tires marks on the furniture. This surface can be also used to write stuff on it like on a blackboard and because of its position I believe this function is very useful.
9. ROOMBA, SUCOOBA � they are located under the bike storage space without any obstacle in front and ready to make their job�
10. LOCKABLE COMPARTMENT/STORAGE � in total there are approximately 9.5m3 of storage excluding the space used to store the beds and bike. Practically the entire storage space can be locked, but in this solution I consider that the upper space close to the entrance serves best to this purpose.
11. FOLDABLE TABLE FOR 12 (Goliath table from Resource Furniture) � this is located under the kitchen working area and it can be used as dining table for two persons if it is partially opened in that position.
12. 6 POUF TYPE CHAIRS - these 6 pouf type chairs have storage space inside and can be grouped in order to form a sofa or can be used separately as chairs. These chairs have aprox. 60/60cm and they have also the necessary height for sitting comfortable at table and also to join with the rest of the sitting furniture existing in this apartment.
13. FOLDABLE BENCH � this is located under the street windows and usually you should use these seats only at parties when extra seats are needed or when you set the table for 12 persons.
In the back of this folding bench, respectively in front of each window it is a space for radiators that is covered with a perforated material so that the heated air can go up. The remaining space between the radiators is used to store the extra pillows.
14. FIRE ESCAPE (BALCONY) - FOLDABLE COFFEE TABLE FOR TWO � it is directly linked with the living room and it is accessible through a large window/door. The way out to the balcony is facilitated by the stairs which represent in fact also the rolling tool cabinet.
15. BUNK BEDS are selected from the Resource Furniture offer. Usually the bed situated down can be used as a sofa when you need extra seats and have the same height with the pouf chairs.
16. PARTITION PANELS/ ROLL GARAGE DOORS � they are made from an opaque sound-absorbing material and move easily on the rails that are placed on the floor and ceiling. In the same time they can be designed in order to put magnets on them. Also is possible to use just the ceiling rail in order to keep the floor clean but in this case the sound insulating will be less efficient. The panels in this case will hang out from the ceiling and down will have a brush thing (I do not know the term in English).
1. FLOOR � I recommend for the floor finishing a warm material like wood - FSC-certified wood treated with organic herbal oils and finished with non-toxic water-based finishes - I believe is an option. It can be easily cleaned and it is durable so that it will look great in 25 years. This floor finishing has the problem that is not retaining dust as a rug does � but for that you will have ROOMBA that will work more often.
2. FURNITURE � it will be, as much as possible, made from-certified wood and veneers, recyclable steel, zero-VOC finishes, water-borne PVA adhesives meant to minimize volatile organic compounds and indoor air pollution. The pillows can be made from recycled polyester or organic wool fabric, natural latex foam, soy-based poly-foam or recycled post-consumer fibers.
It can also be used organic cotton muslin and batting and eco-friendly textiles dyed with low-impact, heavy-metal-free dyes.
All materials will be carefully selected to minimize volatile organic compounds and indoor air pollution, selected to respect the brief and to be available and be produced maybe (very difficult I believe) as much as possible in the NYC area.
3.LIGHTING - there will be used some directional lighting systems with LED technology that are placed on rotating rails to allow the maximum liberty in order set the lights as convenient.
All electronic and mechanic systems can be controlled from the office computer and also by phone via Bluetooth.
3. TERMOINSULATING SYSTEM � can be made from polyester, organic wool fabric or soy-based poly-foam or recycled post-consumer fibers. This material can be used also in the partition panels to attenuate sound.
4. HVAC � The apartment will use the available exiting system for heating (radiators - but with improved design). The air quality will meet or surpass the PlanNYC and the American Lung Association �Healty House� certification. The ventilation unit will be placed outside in the courtyard and will have integrated a water heat recovery ventilator. Inside the apartment there will be ventilation grills above each window which are meant to create an air curtain in front of the window in order to minimize the heat exchange between in- and outdoor.
The windows will be thermo- and sound-efficient with low-e glass. I recommend to use a self-cleaning type of glass at least in places where is difficult to reach for cleaning.
1. Placing the bathroom and the kitchen in the less advantageous areas of the apartment, but in the same time as close as possible to the installation shafts. If possible, it is recommended to provide them also with natural ventilation.
2. Generally speaking, it is recommended to start from a functional diagram which considers that the apartment would be used at its maximum capacity. Despite the trade off of allocating a smaller space to the important functions (bedroom/ living/ office), it is vital that these functions could be easily separated from the rest of the apartment. Even if the activities in these rooms overlap just for a short period of time, this fact can conduct to feeling of discomfort. If possible, the living room should occupy a good position.
3. The possibility that some rooms disappear and other ones extend is fundamental.
4. It is crucial to place the spaces that don�t ask for intimacy (living room/ office/ kitchen) in key positions, in order to avoid the emergence of spaces whose only function would be the traffic.
In order to ensure a high level of comfort, it is necessary that the bedroom, the office, and the living room can be used simultaneously, even if not at their maximum capacity/ dimension. If the apartment is shared by several persons, this will guarantee their comfort: even if they have very different life styles, they will be able to perform different activities without disturbing the others or being disturbed.
It is necessary to make the circulations paths through the spaces that do not require a high level of privacy, such as the living room and the office (in this case). This is the ideal solution in order to avoid spaces that have a single function, that of corridors... here the office and the living room represent the buffer space ... the bedrooms remain private.
Taking into consideration that, unlike other spaces, the bedroom is used on a daily basis for about 8 hours, sometimes it is desirable not to bother your flat mates/ other guests if you chose not to make your bed every day. That�s why you have the option to isolate it by using a roll garage door and it is important to be placed out of the way (if possible).