Sometimes architects can get it wrong, like the approach to housing in Communist Eastern Europe where apartment blocks were high and standards of living low. Concrete towers with no amenities meant residents in countries like Slovenia were happy to flee their hovels in the city and head to the suburbs at the weekend. But when communism ended and the city centres became revitalised, so too did the apartment blocks.
City living has become desirable and the units here have been given a whole new lease on life. Although one fundamental problem remains. Due to the age of the city and the already established neighbourhoods, space is hard to find and so the size of the new apartments tend to be small. But rather than this making these apartments unpopular with the locals, it has provided the architects with a challenge to turn these pigeon holes into clever flexible boxes for living.
Rok Oman is one such architect and his clever solution was to incorporate screens which slide to hide and conceal utilities or open to reveal more living space.
Ofis Arhitekti (Ofis Architecture)
Kongresni Trg 3,
1000 Ljubljana . si
T+386 1 4260085 / 4260084
Lack of space is becoming more and more of a problem the world over, but who says your home has to be a castle if you have a clever design with good storage solutions you can get the most out of the smallest of spaces. Modern apartment blocks in Denmark, are just that – modern. Large steel and glass structures with acute angles are the housing of choice for the young and upwardly mobile.
Because Denmark is predominantly cold and experiences little sun except in summer, this modern building has been designed specifically with glass to let in as much sun as possible for warmth and light. And due to clever technology of being able to double, triple, and quadruple glaze, the apartments stay warm in winter and cool in summer. And all of these techniques form the basis of our global architecture which is why we are seeing these types of buildings popping up in all corners of the globe.
Vesterbrogade 69D 2 SAL
Baghuset 1620 Copenhagen
T - +45 33 26 03 26
And a project creating similar interest here is a project called Victoria Park in Sydney. This new development of apartments on a former wasteland has been architecturally master-planned. It’s an attempt to curb the sprawl of suburbia by building mid-density housing with good design and environmental principles. It’s a far cry from traditional Australian architecture.
Environa Studio – Environmental Architecture
Studio 19, 151 Foveaux St, Surry Hills 2010
T – 02 9332 1211