Residence for a Metropolitan Single
‘POP-UP House’ is a full refurbished flat for a recently emancipated thirty something person, located in a mid-20th century residential building in Madrid.
‘POP-UP House’ is an experiment which deals with two crossed interests: on one hand, it explores the sociological reality linked to the increased number of one-person homes in metropolis -known as “single phenomenon” (1); on the other hand, it tests the infiltration of a thin and gathering domestic infrastructure (2).
1. Single Phenomenon
Higher development of countries is related to the global phenomenon of the increase in one-person housing for single residents. Apart from the extended phenomenon of sharing flats, internet and social networks encourage a recent domestic option which probes that “living alone doesn’t mean being alone”; living alone is a new model fed by the increased people life expectancy, the stronger women emancipation and the higher number of independent people who don’t want to share.
In countries such as Germany, France, UK and Japan, around 40% of current homes are occupied by single people. USA has 30 millions of “singles”. Surprisingly, instead of the current economic crisis, the number of this kind of homes is growing in Spain.
‘POP-UP House’ doesn’t try to design an optimum unique protocol of domesticity, however, it tries to test a proposal that explores the potentials of this reality.
2. Building a Thin Domestic Infrastructure
First of all, by erasing the dispensable partitions related to an obsolete domesticity, we get rid of those traces foreign to the new inhabitant. Only structure, supply connections and client’s obsessions remain.
Infrastructural units that form a one-person dwelling are defined in the way of Toland Grinell’s matching traveling trunks, specialized elements with a unique function that occupy their surrounding space when they are opened. Here, traditional components that form a room become independent and dispersed, providing new domestic opportunities. We do not take a bathroom as a whole, but as an addition of a shower, a washbasin, a toilet, a mirror, a bathroom cabinet, etc. These individual components build up a catalogue as a communication tool, with which the client interacts by choosing, discarding and redefining. Fifty-four of these units are assembled into a gathering element, infrastructural more than aesthetical, dense and operative. This interactive entity is infiltrated into the dwelling and folds it up small in the way of a labyrinth, disorienting to whom gets into it, sometimes it encloses you, others It throws you out.
This gathering element does not move, however it is unfolded. It is affixed to the supply connections and arranges a generic space around it –a laboratory for experiences, relationships, tolerances, overlaps and multiplicities. This space is activated when the dweller turns the infrastructural devices on. By opening and closing, extending and contracting, sliding and folding it up, the home is restructured, expanded, fragmented, connected or isolated. Here, the room does not contain a wardrobe, but the wardrobe contains a room.
This domestic infrastructure is thin. Slimming strategy is focused on usable elements (such as interior partitions, supply pipes and ducts, shafts, etc.) and it pursues the optimization of acoustic, insulating, organizational and connective features of the architectural elements. Few more than a 50% of usable area in the previous traditional dwelling was available space -enclosed into tight rooms; now, 77% of usable area is open and available for a free appropriation in the new configuration.
This infrastructure of daily life is built up with a unique material -economical and versatile-, oriented strand boards. While exterior image is uniform, only specialized handles reveal the opening system of every device, interiors are distinguished. Tiles and wallpaper provide this inner space with colour and design typical of the elegant linings of classic suitcases.
Madrid, Spain 2013-2014
CLIENT Juan Dominguez
PROGRAM Flat Transformation -Apartment for a Metropolitan Single-
AREA 68,50 m2
STATUS Commenced March 2013; Concept design June 2013; Completion May 2014
ARCHITECTURE TallerDE2 Arquitectos
ARCHITECTS Arantza Ozaeta Cortazar, Alvaro Martin Fidalgo
COLLABORATORS Cruz Calleja
CONSTRUCTOR Fedeclima -Paco Ferrero-
CARPENTERS José Leal, Fernando González, Daniel Leal
PHOTOGRAPHS Imagen Subliminal -Miguel de Guzmán, Rocío Romero-
VIDEO Imagen Subliminal -Miguel de Guzmán, Rocío Romero-
Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar (1982) and Álvaro Martín Fidalgo (1980) head TallerDE2 Architects since 2008, a Madrid based office for architecture, urban planning and landscape design. The office TallerDE2 Architects makes an ongoing commitment to research and knowledge, both in training and innovative practice. Their work has international scope, been recognized, published and awarded on several occasions.
Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Alvaro Martín Fidalgo’s work is mainly developed between Spain, Germany, Italy and UK, where they are teaching, researching and building recent winning competitions. They studied architecture at the Madrid Polytechnic ETSAM and at the TU Delft of The Netherlands. They completed the coursework for the PhD at the Madrid Polytechnic ETSAM in the Department of Advanced Projects in 2010 where they are PhD candidates.
Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Alvaro Martín Fidalgo have been recognized with the international award Bauwelt Prize 2013, the prize COAM Luis M. Mansilla 2013 and Finalists at the XII Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennale 2013, for the project ‘Haus der Tagesmütter’.They have been prize winners in several competitions, among which the following can be highlighted: they won the european competition Europan-09 in Selb (Germany), where they are developing an entire urban strategy for a “shrinking city” through the Urban Acupuncture principle. As the result of the implementation of this competition they have completed the project ‘Haus der Tagesmütter’, as well as the project ‘Youth Club and Youth Hostel’, which is currently under construction. They have won the ‘IQ Experimental Collective Housing-Wohnquartiere’ in Germany, which is currently under construction. They were selected at the international competition for ephemeral urban gardens in Bilbao for their winning project ‘Green Cave’, which was realized during the event. They were finalist in the competitions for the wineries ‘Señorío de Villarrica’ and ‘Rothschild & Vega-Sicilia’.
They have been teaching at the Architectural Association School of Architecture-Visiting School Programme (UK), Architectural Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain), Hochschule Coburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Ural State Technical University of Ekaterinburg (Russia). In addition, they have actively participated in debates, workshops and lectures. Several of their models have been shown in the Architecture Gallery of the international magazine ‘El Croquis’ and their work has been selected to be exhibited in different places and events in Spain, Germany, Austria and Italy.