ADAPTIVE LIVING Klaudia Radlinska
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~ Socrates I
ADAPTIVE LIVING II
Table of Contents.
Introduction. Adaptive Living 1 Location 4 Topography and Structure 8 Design: Communal Space 12 Design: Adaptable Apartment A 18 Design: Apartment A1 20 Design: Kitchen A1 & A2 26 Design: Double Sliding Panel 28 Design: Adaptable Kitchen 32 Design: Apartment A2 38 Design: Mezzanine A2 40 Design: Adaptable Room A2 42 Design: Adaptable Apartment B 46 Design: Apartment B2 48 Design: Café and Accessible Apartment 50 Design: In-house garden 55
Introduction. Adaptative Living.
The purpose of this project was to design a modular space that adapts to the needs of a modern family through the passage of time. Adaptive living and modular space distribution complement each other in offering efficient and economic short and long-term solutions to property owners. On the one hand, modern families have often non-conventional structures. On the other hand, globalisation and career-focus individuals are driven towards relocating outside their place of origin. These modern life trends require new space management approaches. The main con-
cept behind the marriage of flexible living and modular space is that any given house has to evolve as if it was another family member. A single-family unit starts small, then grows and last decreases in size. First, when acquiring a property, the owner can split the space into two or more separate smaller living spaces. This way, he/she could for example profit from putting that extra space in the rental market, but also helping others to access more affordable living.
Later, when the family grows, the owner can reacquire and integrate the space back into the main property. But, most importantly, once the children leave the family home, that extra space could again be split and go back to the rental market.
The building is one of the symmetrical classical Georgian townhouses located on St Vincent Street, between Blythswood St and Douglas Street. Blythswood Hill is one of the central hills overlooking the River Clyde, in the city of Glasgow. The area was developed as one of its prestigious residential areas from 1800 onwards, being known then as the magnificent New Town of Blythswood. The terrace formed part of the redevelopment of the Blythswood estate as a spacious new town (suburbs of Glasgow), located to the west Glasgow’s over-populated city centre. Later on, the terrace was converted for commercial use in the late 19th century, as residents moved out to the developing West End and southern suburbs.
St Vincent Street on Blythswood Hill, Glasgow around 1830, viewing east. Private collection of Joseph Swan. 4
243-245 St Vincent Street. North Elevation.
The building is entered via a flying staircase which leads to two doors. The twodoor arrangement allowed for separate accesses to the residential and office space, and this feature in my proposal has not been changed. 7
Topography and Structure.
The property is a vacant office townhouse occupying five floors - ground, first, second, also lower ground and basement. The site’s topography rises from south to north such that the rear ground level is two storeys lower than the front such that to the front the building presents as three storeys whilst to the rear as five.
Main Entrance (North)
Proposed Lift (0 to -1)
Changed Flight of Stairs
Proposed Entrance (South)
Proposed Glazed Extension (with a new staircase and a lift)
Proposed In-house Garden Entrance
Section A-A : Structure and Circulation Scale 1:100@A3 8
Section A - A
Lobby Working space Lounge Accessible toilet
Ground Floor : Communal Space
Café area Accessible toilet Staff room Accessible flat
Lower Ground Floor : Local Business Accessible Apartment
Bike storage Laundry area
Basement : Storage & Laundry 10
Apartment A1 Apartment A2
First Floor : Apartment A
Apartment B1 Apartment B2
Second Floor : Apartment B
Attic B1 Attic B2
Attic B1 ; Attic B2
Scale 1:200 11
Design: Communal Space.
An open-plan workspace has been designed on the ground floor with the possibility of sectionalising it into three zones: two zones for work, including the one with a height-adjustable table, and a third one for relaxation. The space has been adapted specifically for families. Therefore, this studio becomes a cowering hub supplemented with childcare facilities.
Lighting Flow. The space has been designed on an open plan, in a way to let the natural light travel throughout the volume. 12
Ground Floor: Communal Space Scale: 1:150@A4 1
A kitchenette with access to a microwave and kettle
Window seat with a built-in shelving
Working space with a height adjustable table
Lounge area with a projector
Baby changing table
Glazed in-house garden
Family friendly working space V1 : View 1
When designing small apartments, it is always good to look at communal areas to compensate for the shortage of space. This also has a positive impact on people’s social lives by nurturing local communities as it encourages them to spend time together while sharing the facilities. These could include a common working space, lounge area or greenery.
Section B - B 16
Section B - B
Design: Adaptable Apartment A.
“The dwelling again puts before us the architectural problem in the demand for totally new methods of building, the problem of new plans adapted to modern life, the problem of an aesthetic in harmony with the new spirit” ~ Le Corbusier in The City of To-morrow and Its Planning
Apartments A1 and A2 are created after the 90 m² flat on the first floor. Adaptable Apartment A is divided into two smaller properties (A1 & A2) by using a double sliding panel. This way the property will adapt to the needs of the owner, either using to separate units that can work independently or as one large apartment. 18
First Floor : Adaptable Apartment A Scale 1:150@A4
Lounge with a dining corner
Bedroom with a study corner
Entrance A2 with a storage
Kitchen A2 with foldable table
Adaptable room Mezzanine Double sliding panel
Design: Apartment A1.
The section below shows view to the entrance of apartment A1 and the lounge area. Also, additional bed and storage space has been allocated above the bathroom.
A1, section A1A – A1A
Additional bed/Lounge space
Built-in iron board
Double sliding panel
A1, section A1A – A1A
The section below shows view to the bedroom, entrance on the mezzanine and green sliding panel which separates apartment A1 from apartment A2. The floor in the bedroom has been lifted to allow for additional storage space.
A1, section A1B – A1B
A curtain separating the sleeping area
A1, section A1B – A1B
A1 Bedroom - Floor storage
Small flats are often criticised for lack of storage. Tenement houses are characterised by high volumes which allow for designing additional room in a vertical way. Using these principles, storage in apartment A1 has been created above the bathroom, and under the bedroom floor.
Design: Kitchen A1 & A2.
Considering the dividing of the property it was stablished that the kitchen was the most appropriate space. As using the kitchen as the link in between apartments A1 and A2 allows to the owner to non-intrusively prolong this space when the apartment is not divided. The mechanism that allows this to happen is a double sliding panel.
Design: Double Sliding Panel.
As previously mentioned, a double sliding panel has been installed in the kitchen area thus dividing the regular size kitchen into two smaller ones which work completely independent from each other.
storage room accessible from the second entrance. When extended in the opposite direction, it divides the kitchen in two as well as transforming the storage room into the main entrance of apartment A2.
The double sliding panel can be either extended if in use or folded if not in use as can be seen in page 29. Also, it has two main functions which are illustrated in pages 30 and 31.
Here I introduce for the first time a furniture element which can later be found through the project, the foldable table which suits the practical ethos of adaptive living.
The double sliding panel in Apartment A is being used as a divider which creates a
Sliding panel: Section through opening Scale 1:5 @A4
Folding door hanger
Hinges, 4 per joint
Bottom piwot slide
Slide to one side to connect the kitchens
Closing the additional entrance and creating a storage room
Foldable from both sides if needed
Sliding panel: Plan Scale 1:50 @A4
Sliding panel: Front View Scale 1:50 @A4 29
Sliding panel closed
Open kitchen plan
The storage room transformed into an additional entrance (A2)
Sliding panel track
The kitchen split into two smaller ones
Plan: Apartment A Scale 1:50 @A4
Plan: Apartment A1 & A2 Scale 1:50 @A4
Foldable table Scale 1:50 @A4 31
Design: Adaptable Kitchen.
The concept being the adaptable kitchen is modularity. Kitchen A2 has to be able to work independently from Kitchen A1, always keeping in mind that apartment A2 will be inhabited by one or two people at most. Kitchen A2 offers an open-close worktop (with a set of two-stove and sink) as well as space for a small fridge. In addition, Kitchen A1 has a height adjustable worktop which allows to clear off the window space when not in use.
Cabinets with an open-close worktop
Space for a small fridge
Height adjustable worktop
Lift for worktop, manually height adjustable with a crank handle. Length: 1470mm Height adjustable: 300mm 33
Kitchen area V2 : View 2
This tile pattern is made up of a series of octagons and diamonds and comes from the Victorian era. The range of colours make this an adaptable option depending on the house style. The white colour completes a traditional aesthetic and the black creates drama in a more colourful home. 35
Dining corner V3 : View 3
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris 37
Design: Apartment A2.
The section below shows entrance to the apartment A2 and lounge area. Similarly, as in apartment A1, above the bathroom additional bed and storage space has been allocated. Some elements of the design worth mentioning are the use of recycled materials such as the glass panels or wall paper as a reference to its popular use in the tenement houses of the XIX century.
A2, section A2A – A2A
Additional bed/ Storage space
Recycled green glass panels
Green wall panels
A2, section A2A – A2A
Design: Mezzanine A2.
As previously mentioned, lowering the ceiling in the bathroom allows for the creation of substantial additional space which becomes very useful as storage or even allocating more space for bedding.
The distribution of the space designed above displays the addition of a double and a single bed. This becomes really handy when receiving overnight stay visits from friends and family. This way is possible to provide some additional privacy to guests, as well as to avoid any disruption in other spaces such us the open plan kitchen-lounge.
Design: Adaptable Room A2.
This room is a good example of the adaptable design. In the following three pages there is a display of three different uses of the space. The chosen furniture optimises the storage space available under the bed as well as in the bedside table which turns into a step drawer.
The one below is thought for a single adult or a couple. The adaptable room in this case will provide a double bed as well as an adaptive mezzanine.
Above there is an enlarged detail of the design chosen for the banister of the mezzanine. I opted for including timber moulding once again to pay tribute to the traditional decoration of tenement houses.
Modular bed base
Green rubber floor 43
In here are introduced two more uses of the same space introduced in page 42. The one below is thought for a single child, while the one in the next page is thought for two children. Once again, there are just minor adjustments on the furniture, by adding or subtracting some elements. In this case a folding table with shelving has been added to provide some additional functionality to the space.
Kids folding table with shelving Scale 1:50 @A4 45
Design: Adaptable Apartment B.
This apartment is located on the second floor. An addition to the original design is the creation of the attic and the back garden, which will be described more in detail on pages 54 and 55.
The attic provides additional space to apartment B as a whole and subsequently to apartments B1 and B2. However, apartment B2 is slightly smaller in comparison to apartment A2 due to the need to grant access to the rear glazed garden from the communal stairs.
Second Floor : Adaptable Apartment B Scale 1:150 @A4
Entrance B2 with a storage
Attic B2 entrance
Lounge with a dining corner
Lounge with a dining corner
Attic B1 entrance
Under stairs storage
Bedroom with a wardrobe
Second Floor : Attic B Scale 1:150 @A4 1
Shelving and a wardrobe
Additional bed with a curtain divider
Design: Apartment B2.
The section below shows view to kitchen-lounge and bathroom in the lower floor and bedroom-studio in the mezzanine upstairs. Some elements of the design worth mentioning are the use of closed shelving to optimise storage space, as well as glass bricks in the bathroom which allows light to come through the glazed garden. In addition, there is additional natural light coming through skylight windows in the mezzanine.
B2, section B2A – B2A 1
Yellow glass brick
Exit to the rear glazed garden
B2, section B2A – B2A
Design: Café and Accessible Apartment. The lower ground floor offers something different from what has been presented in previous pages. In the floor plan below, it is clear that there are two separate spaces, the one on the shaded right is an accessible apartment while the one on the left is a public café.
As part of a principle of inclusivity, the building comprises an apartment designed specifically for persons with reduced mobility. Also, there are other accessibility features available in the building such as lift and ramps.
Lower Ground Floor : Café and Accessible Apartment Scale 1:150 @A4
Kitchenette with an open-close worktop
Kitchen with height adjustable worktop
Café back room
Going down to the basement
Basement : Storage and Laundry Area Scale 1:150 @A4 1
Lift and staircase
The basement offers storage space as well as a laundry area. The apartments do not have washing machines which has a positive impact in space management. Also, the laundry becomes an additional communal space for nurturing community among the residents. In this case, the storage space has been allocated to a safe and secured bike rack. The design proposes that having an accessible and safe space for storing bikes will encourage the community to cycle regularly. 51
Café V4 : View 4
The public café is just an example of how this local can be used. However, the choice of the café is linked to the ideas of building community and efficiency. This space would be aimed at connecting people from inside and outside the building. 53
Design: In-house Garden.
As previously mentioned, the in-house garden is an addition to the original design of the building. The main material used in this space is glass brick emulating glasshouses. This material allows natural light to pass through without compromising any privacy. The design of the in-house garden supports the believe that having access to green areas and nature as well as open air spaces has a positive impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. The creation of similar spaces might encourage people to live in urban areas.
ADAPTIVE LIVING Adaptive Living Klaudia Radlinska 19023227 Interior Design Y4 Glasgow School of Art 2021