How would you imagine the houses of the future will look like? There was a time when we used to imagine everything would look futuristic and austere and everything would be automatized, lacking the warmth and coziness of the homes of today. A more realistic approach reveals that things are quite different. This year, dot Architects worked on a project meant to offer us a realistic idea of how a house will look like in the future, with a focus on the future lifestyles of young people.
The experimental home was created in a historic neighborhood from Beijing, China. The client was a tech company specialized in smart home features. The house that the architects designed is very small, measuring only 30 square meters across. It occupies the frame of an existing old structure on a property with 80 square meters of yard space. The architects kept the original wood frame of the structure, replaced the roof and removed all the internal partitions.
In this exercise of imagination, the house of the future is a space which the occupants use both as a home and as a workspace. The design is focused on accessibility and convenience and in order to offer all that a flexible layout was conceived. The general approach aimed at exposing the beauty of traditional Chinese architecture by preserving the main frame of the house and infusing it with modern and smart features.
The flexible layout was created by introducing two movable furniture modules. With these elements, four different layouts are possible. In one of the versions, this can become a three-bedroom home and in a different configuration it can include a home office. These modules are controlled via a smart TV placed in the living area. The TV also controls the lighting, curtains, the security system and several appliances.
This is a smart home inside a humble and simplistic shell. It has the warmth and coziness of a rustic home and the comfort and convenience of a contemporary, high-tech house. It may not look futuristic but in our opinion this is actually a more realistic image of what future homes could look like.
To save space and to ensure the required flexibility, the house has wall beds which stay concealed until needed and multifunctional furniture modules which can be used in various different ways, depending on the needs of the inhabitants. The living areas can be opened up to the yard and the full-height windows let in abundant natural light and ventilate the house naturally. At this point you might wonder where the bathroom is. It was integrated into a small annex along with the kitchen, this being the only newly built structure on the site.
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