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Living with the seasons

 

Living with the seasons

 

Do you know that different seasons have different influences on us as a person, on our feelings and mood? For my graduation assignment, I studied interior architecture, I researched the way of living during the seasons and designed a house that could change with the seasons. Now living with the seasons is possible!

 

In the Netherlands, my home country, and where I studied, the seasons are totally different from each other. Winter; cold and dark (shorter days). Spring; flowers are blooming, and the weather gets better. Summer; sunny and warm and Autumn; windy and wet.

 

Changing seasons and us as human beings who live in it. We used to live much more with nature, with its energy. Research shows that it is good for people to do this again and live more according to the cycles of the seasons.
But how can we experience the seasons within the limitations of an apartment? It was interesting and exciting to explore further.

 

I found that to live with the seasons, the entire floor plan of the apartment should be editable. After all, in the winter you want more that cosy, compact and warm interior, while in the summer you enjoy more openness, space and contact with the outside.

I have designed a house where this is possible, that you can move with it and that you can live more with the seasons. In the summer a lot of contact with the outside, and in the winter a nice retract to a warm core.
For us as humans, to live better with the energy of nature, it is enough to completely overhaul the interior twice a year and just finetune it in between.

 

It is possible in this design to change the whole apartment within one hour by one person.

 

 

The seasons reflected in the apartment

 

Winter: In the colder winter period, we want to retract more. More inside, more cocooning.
The use of curtains and low walls creates cosy spaces, giving you an intimate atmosphere.

In the middle, I have located a warm core where the kitchen and dining space are central. Here it is nice to come together while it is dark early in the evening.
The seating area and workplace are placed on the sunny side of the house to catch all winter sun.
The warm and homely feeling is enhanced by light, colour and sound. The arrangement and choice of certain materials give a warmer tone to the room, enhancing the more intimate winter atmosphere. Optionally extra elements can be added such as carpet and plaids to bring more soft, warm materials into the interior in the winter.

 

Summer: On the long warm summer days, you can enjoy the open space and the light that shines from the front to the back of your house. The low walls are placed more on the side, and the curtains are gone.
In the evening you can open the front and back doors to let fresh evening air blow through the house.

In the summer I like outdoor cooking. By placing the kitchen almost on the balcony, you can cook outside and enjoy your meal in the sunshine.
In this way, you can bring more “inside” out and bring the “outside” more in.
A free and open feeling is created, this feeling is enhanced by the sound. Which makes the space sound larger and spacious through the openness and the materials. This allows the openness to be experienced in the ultimate.

 

Same point of view, different feeling…

Winter

Living with the seasons - visual winter
Living with the seasons - visual winter

Summer

Living with the seasons - visual summer
Living with the seasons - visual summer

Scale model

Winter

Living with the seasons - scale model

Summer

Living with the seasons - scale model

The house, how it works…

 

The general atmosphere is sleek, modern and neutral. But this can all be changed, with light, sound, curtains and more, is it possible to give the whole house a different feeling.

The speciality is in the floor plan; the whole interior can be changed. Short explanation; there are three circles in the floor who can turn and exchange parts, see the video. So with this, even the bathroom and the kitchen can change location within a blink of an eye.

 

So the idea is to change the floor plan completely twice a year, when spring starts and when Autumn starts. At the start of the Summer and the Winter, you can finetune the interior to your needs of that season.

 

Finetuning the atmosphere mainly through:

  • Light plan, warm coloured lights or brighter, colder…
  • Play with the curtains, more open feeling or cosier.
  • Change and relocation of the furniture – relocation or extension of the walls.
  • There are more details to it, but for here too much to point them all out.

     

    In front of the windows you have curtains, and around the whole middle circle, it is possible to hang curtains. There are two types, a thin translucent curtain for a bit more cosiness but still, contact and the closed version which ‘acts’ as a closed wall. This last one will also change the acoustics in the apartment a lot. You can ‘play’ with the amount of visibility and light that lets through; for privacy or creating smaller spaces.

     

    Move with the energy; the seasons; back to our own nature; less fixed. Every season has its own atmosphere; movement at home; adapting to the seasons; different influence on us as humans. Keep moving, the brain keeps young; live better with our feelings per season; living with the seasons.

     
     

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    Explanation of words: Slapen = Sleeping // Badderen = Bathing // Zitten = Sitting // Koken = Cooking // Eten = Eating // Werken = Working

    Words for the action performed, instead of the name of the space as usual (bathing instead of bathroom). Not to place it in ‘spaces’.

    As a designer….

    “As a designer, I am often looking for the limit of what is possible, I like to play with it, see if I can go a little further. Flexibility, folding in and out, movement. It often comes back in my designs.
    Here I found the solution to be able to change your entire interior to adapt to the current season. “

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