Kronsberger Straße

This three-storey apartment building in Berlin provides

the capacity for change through its form of construction,

which allows the expansion and contraction of individual

dwellings within the same structure. The building is

designed on a grid using a reinforced concrete frame. A

central staircase divides the building into two halves, each

of which is unobstructed apart from a few columns and a

service duct. The size of one ‘half and design of the common

hallway with its multiple doors allows each floor to

have two, three or four differently sized apartments. The

architects show a variety of possible layouts, testing their

design for long-term flexibility. The plans indicate the spatial

division into ten units, but the number of apartments

could be as low as six or as high as twelve.

At a later stage, two adjoining units could be merged

into one large unit (with one of the entrance doors blocked

up) or a smaller unit could be enlarged by taking space

off another, though the latter adaptation would depend

on tenancies. The advantages in this form of flexibility lie

not only in its potential to respond to its user’s periodic

changing requirements but also in the long-term adaptability

offered by the dwelling within a changing market

situation.

Plan

Extendible Houses t’Hool Second floor

Van den Broek and Bakema’s project for extendible

houses is an example of intentionally planning for future

expansion, something often overlooked in normal housing

design. On an elongated plot of land, the architects

proposed a narrow house not unlike a nineteenth century

British terraced house. This core house contains a

small front yard; it has a kitchen with direct access to the

back garden, and a combined dining and living room on

the ground floor. The core house in its smallest state also

has a second storey, which houses three rooms: a larger

room to the front and two smaller rooms towards the back

of the house.

This smallest functional unit is designed to be expanded

by pushing out horizontally to the front and back, and vertically

upwards. Towards the front, on the site of the front

yard, an additional room can be built, which might be a

garage, a small shop or a guest room. Towards the back,

the entire rear garden can be transformed into a series

of rooms that are organised around a courtyard — which

almost doubles the useable space on the ground floor.

Finally, planning permission allows for an additional room

to be built on top of the first floor flat roof. Together these

changes allow for the initial house of 85m2 to be transformed

into one of 130m2.

Extendible Houses t’ Hool First floor minimum

Van den Broek and Bakema’s project for extendible

houses is an example of intentionally planning for future

expansion, something often overlooked in normal housing

design. On an elongated plot of land, the architects

proposed a narrow house not unlike a nineteenth century

British terraced house. This core house contains a

small front yard; it has a kitchen with direct access to the

back garden, and a combined dining and living room on

the ground floor. The core house in its smallest state also

has a second storey, which houses three rooms: a larger

room to the front and two smaller rooms towards the back

of the house.

This smallest functional unit is designed to be expanded

by pushing out horizontally to the front and back, and vertically

upwards. Towards the front, on the site of the front

yard, an additional room can be built, which might be a

garage, a small shop or a guest room. Towards the back,

the entire rear garden can be transformed into a series

of rooms that are organised around a courtyard — which

almost doubles the useable space on the ground floor.

Finally, planning permission allows for an additional room

to be built on top of the first floor flat roof. Together these

changes allow for the initial house of 85m2 to be transformed

into one of 130m2.

Extendible Houses ‘t Hool Ground floor maximum

Van den Broek and Bakema’s project for extendible

houses is an example of intentionally planning for future

expansion, something often overlooked in normal housing

design. On an elongated plot of land, the architects

proposed a narrow house not unlike a nineteenth century

British terraced house. This core house contains a

small front yard; it has a kitchen with direct access to the

back garden, and a combined dining and living room on

the ground floor. The core house in its smallest state also

has a second storey, which houses three rooms: a larger

room to the front and two smaller rooms towards the back

of the house.

This smallest functional unit is designed to be expanded

by pushing out horizontally to the front and back, and vertically

upwards. Towards the front, on the site of the front

yard, an additional room can be built, which might be a

garage, a small shop or a guest room. Towards the back,

the entire rear garden can be transformed into a series

of rooms that are organised around a courtyard — which

almost doubles the useable space on the ground floor.

Finally, planning permission allows for an additional room

to be built on top of the first floor flat roof. Together these

changes allow for the initial house of 85m2 to be transformed

into one of 130m2.

Extendible Houses t’Hool Ground floor minimum

Van den Broek and Bakema’s project for extendible

houses is an example of intentionally planning for future

expansion, something often overlooked in normal housing

design. On an elongated plot of land, the architects

proposed a narrow house not unlike a nineteenth century

British terraced house. This core house contains a

small front yard; it has a kitchen with direct access to the

back garden, and a combined dining and living room on

the ground floor. The core house in its smallest state also

has a second storey, which houses three rooms: a larger

room to the front and two smaller rooms towards the back

of the house.

This smallest functional unit is designed to be expanded

by pushing out horizontally to the front and back, and vertically

upwards. Towards the front, on the site of the front

yard, an additional room can be built, which might be a

garage, a small shop or a guest room. Towards the back,

the entire rear garden can be transformed into a series

of rooms that are organised around a courtyard — which

almost doubles the useable space on the ground floor.

Finally, planning permission allows for an additional room

to be built on top of the first floor flat roof. Together these

changes allow for the initial house of 85m2 to be transformed

into one of 130m2.

The Adaptable House first floor

The Adaptable House, developed by the British Ministry of

Housing and Local Government (MHLG) in 1962, emphasises

the changeability of the plan as a means for providing

flexibility. The design for the development of this

house was based on findings and recommendations published

in the seminal Parker Morris Report in 1961. Parker

Morris stressed the importance of a building’s adaptability

to future needs. Whilst the consideration of the stages

in a family’s life cycle and their expression in space had

already played an important role in the 1930s (i.e. Vroesenlaan

by Van den Broek), it became a central focus again in

the 1960s and 1970s.

The architects at MHLG illustrated this concept with

a diagram that differentiated between seven stages in a

family’s cycle over a period of fifty years starting with marriage,

the arrival of two children within five years, another

child within the next 5 years, the growing up of all children,

their leaving the house gradually, up until the final

stage from year 35 when the couple is on their own again.

Architecturally, this programme is accommodated in

a two storey L-shaped house with kitchen, dining room /

playspace, WC and one additional room on the ground

floor. The additional room is accessible both from the

entrance hall as well as via a door to the living room and

can be used as a hobbies room, bed-sitting or guest room.

The large living rooms on ground floor can be used for different

functions and activities, and subdivided as necessary.

Depending on the number of occupants in the house

a large space to one side of the staircase on the first floor

can be divided into two rooms.

Plan

The Adaptable House Ground floor

The Adaptable House, developed by the British Ministry of

Housing and Local Government (MHLG) in 1962, emphasises

the changeability of the plan as a means for providing

flexibility. The design for the development of this

house was based on findings and recommendations published

in the seminal Parker Morris Report in 1961. Parker

Morris stressed the importance of a building’s adaptability

to future needs. Whilst the consideration of the stages

in a family’s life cycle and their expression in space had

already played an important role in the 1930s (i.e. Vroesenlaan

by Van den Broek), it became a central focus again in

the 1960s and 1970s.

The architects at MHLG illustrated this concept with

a diagram that differentiated between seven stages in a

family’s cycle over a period of fifty years starting with marriage,

the arrival of two children within five years, another

child within the next 5 years, the growing up of all children,

their leaving the house gradually, up until the final

stage from year 35 when the couple is on their own again.

Architecturally, this programme is accommodated in

a two storey L-shaped house with kitchen, dining room /

playspace, WC and one additional room on the ground

floor. The additional room is accessible both from the

entrance hall as well as via a door to the living room and

can be used as a hobbies room, bed-sitting or guest room.

The large living rooms on ground floor can be used for different

functions and activities, and subdivided as necessary.

Depending on the number of occupants in the house

a large space to one side of the staircase on the first floor

can be divided into two rooms.

Plan

Flexible Space first floor

William Wurster”s proposal for The new house 194X’ competition

was initiated by a short manifesto in which he lists

the inherent and fixed problems of residential dwellings:

unalterable areas, arrangements with permanent wall

partitions, and a size that is usually limited to minimum

initial needs and impossible to expand except at considerable

expense. In place of these he proposes a fixed outer

shell — an undivided space of 36 feet by 54 feet la total

area of almost 180m2) which is raised one storey above

ground level, with a long staircase arriving in the centre of

the elongated plan. The principle here is not one of gradual

expansion and addition, but of subdivision. Wurster starts

with an abundance of inexpensive space that can then be

adjusted over time. With this one-floor house Wurster

uses the concept of excess space; space that is as simple

and economical as loft construction and allows everything

from maximum openness to complete division.

Initially, the completely open space would be divided

only by a completely prefabricated kitchen bay, bathroom

and closets. Later on, with children, it could be further

subdivided into a series of smaller separated areas

or rooms through the addition of closet units. These,

Wurster indicates, are factory-fabricated units for space

division and storage. Two standard sizes in two heights

cater for all needs: as clothes closets, as shelves for

books and magazines, as a sideboard, as a storage cupboard

for brooms and ironing equipment and as laundry

unit. As with Corbusier’s Maisons Loucheur, Wurster

offers additional space beneath the house for expansion: a

space that can be the garage, a garden store, a social hall

and /ora utility room.

Plan

Flexible Space Ground floor

William Wurster”s proposal for The new house 194X’ competition

was initiated by a short manifesto in which he lists

the inherent and fixed problems of residential dwellings:

unalterable areas, arrangements with permanent wall

partitions, and a size that is usually limited to minimum

initial needs and impossible to expand except at considerable

expense. In place of these he proposes a fixed outer

shell — an undivided space of 36 feet by 54 feet la total

area of almost 180m2) which is raised one storey above

ground level, with a long staircase arriving in the centre of

the elongated plan. The principle here is not one of gradual

expansion and addition, but of subdivision. Wurster starts

with an abundance of inexpensive space that can then be

adjusted over time. With this one-floor house Wurster

uses the concept of excess space; space that is as simple

and economical as loft construction and allows everything

from maximum openness to complete division.

Initially, the completely open space would be divided

only by a completely prefabricated kitchen bay, bathroom

and closets. Later on, with children, it could be further

subdivided into a series of smaller separated areas

or rooms through the addition of closet units. These,

Wurster indicates, are factory-fabricated units for space

division and storage. Two standard sizes in two heights

cater for all needs: as clothes closets, as shelves for

books and magazines, as a sideboard, as a storage cupboard

for brooms and ironing equipment and as laundry

unit. As with Corbusier’s Maisons Loucheur, Wurster

offers additional space beneath the house for expansion: a

space that can be the garage, a garden store, a social hall

and /ora utility room.

Plan

Kallebäck Experimental Housing Varied infill

Built at the urban periphery of Goteborg, the Kallebàck

housing development can best be described as a shelving

unit that provides individual sites for single detached

houses. It takes the concept of support structure to its logical

conclusion, stripped down to the provision of the floor

of the shelf, vertical circulation and a few service connections.

Each house is set on a concrete floor plate, and can

have its own facade treatment, floor plan and (surprisingly)

roof. The front of the ‘shelf forms the edge of a balcony

for each house. The design of the house is then based

around a system of demountable partition walls, wall

cupboards and doors, all fixed to the concrete floor plate.

2 people are needed for changing parts: one to hold the

element, another one to fix it.

The initial idea was that the shelves would be filled up

overtime. However, such was the popularity of the scheme

that all the plots were taken from the start and each of the

houses designed more or less to their full extent. Whilst

this might have been against the wishes of the architect,

the scheme still retains a playful sense of a set of mobile

homes perched in the air, exuding a sense of past and

future change. However, some critics have dismissed the

scheme as a one-off oddity with few wider lessons.

Two studies, one after two years of inhabitation, the

other after eleven, found that changes continued to be

made by the inhabitants. The first study found that the

majority of the occupants had chosen to buy into the

project specifically for its potential to change and therefore

had an active commitment to the possibilities of

flexible design.

Czerniowiecka

Abito

b3p216f0n0_200floor1

b3p144f0n0_200floor0

b3p144f0n0_200floor1

b3p308f0n0floor1

b3p386f0n0floor1

b3p208f0n0_200floor0

b3p312f0n0floor0

Gemini Residences

FSB Fælledhaven

Mina del Morro 2

Mina del Morro 1