December 4, 2023
Casa 4x30: Adaptability, innovation, and personal growth.
In the bustling urban landscape, architects are often challenged to create spacious living solutions within confined spaces. One such remarkable example is the House 4x30, a project nestled in a narrow plot, spanning merely four meters in width. This project, uniquely designed by CR2 Arquitetura + FGMF who are also the residents, offers valuable insights into the creative process and the personal experience of designing one's own home.
The House 4x30 stands out for the ingenious space utilization, drawing inspiration from cultures where space is a premium. "Looking at cultures where space is typically a challenge seemed like a necessary learning for us," the architects shared. While they didn't directly emulate the specific solutions or construction techniques of small Japanese and Dutch homes, these cultures influenced their approach to reevaluating what a small urban house could be in a major city. This reflection was crucial in shaping the design of House 4x30, making it a blend of cultural learning and modern urban living.
Designing for oneself, as the architects found, poses unique challenges and opportunities compared to client projects. "The first challenge was learning to work together," they explain, highlighting the shift from individual to collaborative practice. This personal project allowed them to experiment with materials and construction systems, like metal structures, drywall, and panel wall slabs, which were not commonly used in their practices. The constant evolution of ideas and the lack of a clear process, typical when designing for others, made the project more challenging yet enriching.
Living in the House 4x30 has had a profound impact on their approach to designing for others. Each project is a step in their evolutionary journey as architects. "It was an important exercise in restraint: designing in a small space economically," they reflect. The project debunked myths about unconventional materials, proving their suitability for residential use—a revelation that has influenced their professional outlook.
House 4x30 is more than just a residence; it's a symbol of adaptability, innovation, and personal growth. The experience of designing and inhabiting this space has not only transformed a narrow plot into a comfortable home but also broadened the architects' perspectives, allowing them to push boundaries in their future endeavors.
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