The conversation began with the ceiling. While the young couple who owned the house would have loved the entire floor of their apartment to be covered in timber, it would have been a waste to remove the brand new existing floor tiles. We left the floor intact and brought the timber to the ceiling. In Upside-down House, a timber surface runs across the length of the ceiling of the communal spaces – the dining, living and study areas – visually connecting the interior into a seamless, large and coherent space.
The timber ceiling is extended down to the walls as a series of hanging storage boxes hovering over and never quite meeting the floor. A pattern of rotated timber panels conceal a cacophony of shoes, dining and kitchen equipment as well as other home appliances that would otherwise clutter and clash within the tight spatial configuration straddling the entrance, the kitchen and the dining area. For the same reason, a timber column greets people as they come in at the entrance – we made a matching timber box to house the refrigerator within. In the study, the ceiling breaks away into a series of balancing shelves. A set of thin glass doors slides into place to cut the study away from the rest of the living space when required.
The owners’ pet dog now roams the house, without them having to worry for scratches on the wooden ceiling.