Reimag­in­ing the house

A de­signer has cre­ated a pro­to­type for a house that plays with tra­di­tional ideas about what rooms should be used for.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Spaces - By JULIA NAUE

SOME things in life don’t change. You sleep in the bed­room, cook in the kitchen, and eat in the dining room. And th­ese rooms can be found in every house.

“When we buy a house, it was usu­ally built 50 or 100 years ago,” says New York de­signer Todd Bracher. “It wasn’t de­signed for us.”

We put dining chairs in the dining room, be­cause that is what one does .... But Bracher is turn­ing th­ese rules inside out and build­ing a house that is dif­fer­ent.

Bracher’s house does not have a bed­room with a bed in it. There is some­thing like a kitchen, where books stand on the shelves along­side the spices, and there is a read­ing lamp by the sink.

“Food for the body and soul”, is how the de­signer de­scribes it. There is no bath­room, but there is cer­tainly a shower – out­side, in front of the house. “The aim is to get back in touch with na­ture,” Bracher says.

The de­signer house is not – yet – for liv­ing in. Rather, it was an ex­hibit at the re­cent In­ter­na­tional In­te­ri­ors Show (IMM) in Cologne, Ger­many, which com­mis­sions a de­signer every year to come up with a liv­ing space that chal­lenges ideas about liv­ing and to build it, com­plete with fur­ni­ture.

In mod­ern liv­ing, rooms that pre­vi­ously had clearly de­mar­cated func­tions are start­ing to flow into each other.

“The tra­di­tional sub­di­vi­sion be­tween liv­ing room, bed­room, and kitchen no longer ex­ists,” says Ger­many-based in­dus­trial de­signer St­ef­fen Kehrle dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion at the IMM.

The same ap­plies to fur­ni­ture: “Fur­ni­ture must adapt to the user’s de­mands, and not the other way round.”

An ex­am­ple is the idea of the sofa with two match­ing arm­chairs fac­ing the tele­vi­sion. This stan­dard setup is now com­ple­mented by the chaise longue, long chair, di­van, ot­toman, and many other vari­a­tions.

The va­ri­ety is re­flected in Bracher’s house, although in sim­pli­fied form. The aim is to FRENCH car­maker Re­nault is cel­e­brat­ing 40 years in the world of For­mula 1 with a “Yel­low Teapot” in the team’s sig­na­ture yel­low, black and white colours.

It was in 1977 that the French car­maker en­tered the world of For­mula 1, with a car called the RS01. This model had a turbo com­pressed en­gine, a first for For­mula 1.

But, as with many trail­blaz­ing in­no­va­tions, the RS01 en­coun­tered cer­tain tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties, and the yel­low, black and white car would reg­u­larly pull into the pit lane stream­ing white smoke, a sign of en­gine trou­ble.

On see­ing the smok­ing car go by, team boss Ken Tyrell dubbed it the “yel­low teapot”, a moniker that stuck to be­come the nick­name of the RS01. The car won its first For­mula 1 vic­tory two years later at the French Grand Prix in Di­jon.

Re­nault is now pay­ing trib­ute to this car and its dif­fi­cult be­gin­nings with the “Yel­low pare down the com­plex­ity of con­tem­po­rary liv­ing to its ba­sic func­tions.

An ex­am­ple is the quiet room in Bracher’s house – dark but with­out a bed. In­stead, there is a couch for ly­ing down, and a chair and a floor cush­ion, al­low­ing for a range of ac­tiv­i­ties – sim­ply re­lax­ing, day­dream­ing, med­i­tat­ing. Af­ter all, the mod­ern home can be de­signed to adapt to our needs. – dpa Teapot”, de­signed to cel­e­brate the team’s 40th an­niver­sary in For­mula 1 rac­ing.

The teapot will equip the kitchens of the L’Ate­lier Re­nault restau­rant on the Champ­sElysées in Paris from Septem­ber. Forty lim­ited-edi­tion copies will also be avail­able to

€129 buy, priced at (RM630), from the L’Ate­lier Re­nault store and e-shop at the web­site shop.ate­lier.re­nault.com.

Books shelved with spices and read­ing lamps next to the sink – Bracher wants to chal­lenge con­ven­tional ideas about how we use spa­ces in a house. — Pho­tos: dpa

The shower should be out­side be­cause ‘the aim is to get back in touch with na­ture’, says Bracher.

The Yel­low Teapot’s de­sign was in­spired by the sleek lines of a win­ning F1 car. — AFP

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