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Fotos: Loeb Sarli Architekten

Sp 101
Residence, Basel

The small row house located in the Gellert neighborhood is 5m wide, 8.8m deep, and originally had a basement, two occupiable floors and an accessible attic with one source of natural light used mainly for storage. When the family decided to move in, we were asked to conceive a strategy that would allow the “size” of the house to grow within its fixed perimeter, accompanying the growth of the family into a total of four. Out of financial necessity, the project was executed in two phases.

Phase one was completed in 2013 and focused on the ground floor and its relationship to the backyard. In order to create more space within a fixed perimeter, the existing conventional partitions were replaced with three ceiling high furniture pieces built with 18mm birch plywood that reduced the need of furniture to seating and tables. The new built-in partitions define the spaces without visually containing them, and store the numerous objects a 21st century family accumulates.

Due to the sectional change in the site, the ground floor is at the level of the street, and the backyard is one story below, originally accessed only from the basement. A new access to the backyard on the main floor was added, with a light steel staircase and a small terrace to connect the living room directly to the outdoors.

The second phase was executed in 2020 and involved the transformation of the dark attic space into a master suite with a new bathroom, office space, and new photovoltaic roof. A new mezzanine space supported by glue-laminated beams interrupts the verticality of the space and the new dormer window on the street side.