The size of the lot often contributes to the design concept of a project. Having a limited space to build can be a challenge for the architects. But it can also be an opportunity for them to come up with creative solutions to create a built environment that meets the needs of the users. Davao-based architecture studio Basa Architecture and Design Practice, for instance, was commissioned to design a house within a small lot with limited budget.
The client wanted to create a functional and tranquil living space for their grandparents despite the budget constraints and property area of just 36 square meters. According to the architects, the design strategy aimed to maximize the space’s potential and original purpose, while striking a balance between functionality and budget considerations.
The central design challenge focused on optimizing the interior space and its potential uses, considering the user’s needs and site context, all without expanding the building’s footprint. To tackle this, the design team introduced a bay window which serves a versatile role. It not only makes the most of the restricted space but also provides a spot for meditation, functions as a flexible daybed, and enriches the overall architectural composition.
This approach also allows for adaptable seating arrangements, crucial for Filipinos who value communal feasting or “Salo-Salo” culture. As a result, the architects managed to incorporate 2 bedrooms, a central toilet & bath, a well-sized kitchen, a dining space for four, and a living area with a flexible layout.
This architectural concept stands as a pivotal functional feature and the defining essence of the entire structure. The operable window of the bay window offers flexibility in controlling airflow and sunlight penetration. The focus on crafting this window lies in its ability to adapt to exterior elements. When fully closed, the vertical wooden slats, locally sourced from a city woodcraft shop, offer partial privacy and a sense of enclosure. Jalousie windows provide the next layer, regulating airflow and safeguarding against rain, while still permitting natural light to filter through the glass.
Opening the operable window fully reduces the need for electric lighting during the day, which the architects believe is a notable advantage, especially in an area with inconsistent electricity supply.
In crafting this ingenious living space within the constraints of both budget and square footage, the architects not only met the practical needs of their clients but also created a haven of comfort and functionality for the grandparents. This project reflects the power of creativity and ingenuity in transforming limited spaces into places of warmth and solace.
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Photos Courtesy of Basa Architecture and Design Practice