AWARDS Finalists - The Davidson Prize 2021
PROGRAMME Work from Home - Pop-Out Window
AREA 13sqft/1.2 sqm
TEAM NEW NORMAL - STUDIO YUME, Whitby Wood, pliarch, IDEA DESIGN Ltd, Crowd Control
Lockdowns have turned homes into fortresses of solitude, with many people working in makeshift conditions that lack daylight, aspect and a sense of connectedness to the outside world. After a few months of working from home, every day begins to feel the same and many people have experienced boredom and monotony, constant fatigue, loneliness and isolation.
Com-View-Nism’s simple solution uses sustainable and widely available materials to create a pop-out window extension that serves as a workspace. A folding floor and structural side walls combine with a concertina ETFE shell to provide naturally-lit space that extends from an existing window opening, connecting with the street and neighbours. The space can be visually separated from the home by simply pulling down a blind, creating a flexible and well-lit work area with great views out.
The pop out window is designed for around the clock use so we wanted lighting to become an integral part of the design with both utilitarian and aesthetic merit. We introduced three different layers of dimmable, tuneable white LED lighting locally controlled to allow for flexible use of the space.
1. Linear lighting on the two sides of the main window which provide optimum facial rendition for those online meetings.
2. Desk lighting for task illumination and chilled out reading.
3. Linear lighting grazing down the movable blind to mask the interior views and allow for a neutral, softly lit background.
At the back of the pop-out, blinds of varying transparency can be integrated to create both a neutral background and promote privacy for online meetings without isolating the workstation from the rest of the interior.
Both the textures and finishes of the concertina and the blinds can be customized according to individual preferences and needs. This impacts how the pop-out window will appear from the street at night.
Each pop-out window has a unique night-time identity, but they all contribute to the look of and feel of the street view by animating the building facades. They become “eyes on the street” promoting the feeling of safety at night and connecting people with their neighbours.
The design has not only been driven by creating a simple flat pack solution for an innovative and flexible workspace connecting consumers with their neighbourhood. We wanted to develop a format people can relate to regardless of age or background. A fundamental principle of Architecture should be about improving people’s lives with cost efficient, innovative and simple ideas.
“We shape our buildings, thereafter, they shape us”