Tagged with: accessible architecture design disability wheelchair accessible
In France, a couple lived in a very old but beautiful house and wanted a new one. While they were looking for an architect, the husband was involved in a terrible car crash that nearly killed him. He survived, but now he would need a wheelchair.
Two years later, the couple thought about the new house again as the husband felt like he was trapped in a prison in their old house. He told the architect, “Contrary to what you would expect, I do not want a simple house. I want a complex house, because the house will define my world…”
Architect Rem Koolhaas said, “They asked us to do a house which would not visibly remind anyone, including themselves, of his condition. We interpreted the house as an extension of everything he could still do, rather than to compensate for everything he could no longer do.”
Koolhaas came up with Maison à Bordeaux as pictured above.
According to OMA, “Set on a hill in France’s Bordeaux region, the 5,300-square-foot home was conceived as three stacked houses. At the center of the structure is a large mechanical lift that ascends all three levels — none is complete without the platform.”
The house has three stories, each of which has a 10-ft. by 10-ft. hole. This hole is only filled when the husband’s 10-ft. by 10-ft. elevator, which is also his office, is in that space. The elevator is the heart of house. Rather than making allowances for its disabled owner, each floor of this revolutionary home is absolutely complete only when he’s there. In Maison à Bordeaux, it is able-bodied people who are inconvenienced for him.
“The lower level is a series of caverns carved out from the hill, designed for the most intimate life of the family; the ground floor on garden level is a glass room – half inside, half outside – for living; and the upper floor is divided into a children’s and a parents’ area. The heart of the house is a 3×3.5m elevator platform that moves freely between the three floors, becoming part of the living space or kitchen or transforming itself into an intimate office space, and granting access to books, artwork, and the wine cellar.”
More photos, a slideshow, can be seen here.
Image Credits By Hans Werlemann© All rights reserved