FRANCE – The relationship between automobiles and architecture has been long documented – from the car’s influence on Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture or the origins of Streamline Moderne era to the design of lavish showrooms for the car industry. To continue this legacy is the design of House 33, a portable house, by Marchi Architects for the unveiling of Renault’s concept car, Symbioz.
Previously, architecture emulated car designs to best showcase it or imitate its design features. This is not the case for this house as it questions the function occupied by cars in urban spaces nowadays. Going past the point of mere admiration and infatuation, the architects design a residence where the car is fully-integrated in the day-to-day occupations of its inhabitants.
The car becomes an extension of the space or rather an integral part of how we live in a house. The single-storey house is fully glazed but crowned with a metallic cylinder on its roof. Perforations in the metal cladding bring about a glow to the exterior.
The car at the heart of the house fuses living space and mobility. Considered to be an additional room to the house, it uses its shape, colour and material to convey the warmth of an architectural space. It can integrate the house in different ways such as an extra room outside, an expansion of the living room, or a quiet room isolated from the noise.
Large sliding glass doors act as both the car entrance and the residents’ doorway. The open-plan extends out from here for a span of 21 meters. A first circular space welcomes residents. This is the custom-engineered lift and rotation platform, dedicated in bringing in the Symbioz and allow users to enjoy views of the surroundings once brought up to the roof. When lifted above, a cobalt blue carpet covers the platform base and creates an additional living area.
The 120 sq-m house features wooden interior cladding laid out in a way to extend the house. The colour scheme of the architecture follows the car's golden exterior. Taken as a whole, mobility is the key word to describe House 33 - both the linearity of the cladding and the vertical extension of living spaces plays with our habitual reading of movement in residential living.