From The Cloud Collective:
Recently the young designers of the Dutch group ‘The Cloud Collective’ completed an unusual interior project: a space-filling piece of furniture that fits their clients’ numerous leisure activities. The project has been designed and built in a process of intense collaboration, as an alternative method was chosen for the development: Many aspects of the project were deliberately improvised and determined during construction.
Last year our client moved into his boyhood neighborhood after buying his first own house. This so called drive-in-house has its living and sleeping rooms at higher levels, leaving the ground floor open for a garage and a garden room. Other residents in the area each use this space differently. As our client and his girlfriend started living together, they wanted to use this space for numerous leisure activities. For instance, it had to offer the possibility of exercising for sport climbing, while at other times the space would be used for the tastings of special beers. The result is a single space-filling piece of furniture they can get on, at, through, under, inside to have breakfast or to play the guitar, climb, lounge, listen to music, enjoy the garden or have beer tastings.
All activities have been brought together in one compact slice of furniture that is fitted between the walls, ceiling and floor in the middle of the room. At the same time, several openings and cavities give a sense of lightness to this large and wild piece of furniture. A large cutout provides a view into the garden while leaving plenty of space to move around and use the room extensively.
A tight budget forced the designers to look for elegant applications of cheap materials that are easy to work with. The primary structural elements are constructed of OSB, which obtained a rich dark gloss by applying a blackwash. The top surfaces, footrests and several compartments and panels are made out of multiple layers of plywood, finished with a varnish that makes them comfortable to the touch.
This wooden piece of furniture was built together with the client. During this construction process a working method was chosen that is unusual to modern day architects: Instead of designing and drawing everything in advance, many of the exact measurements and proportions were deliberately left to be decided by improvisation during construction. Using this method, many aspects could be tested and changed to perfectly fit their future use. This intuitive and hands-on approach went well together with the irregular shapes of the object and resulted in interesting details and joints.