When Le Corbusier gave his 5 point theory about an ideal design approach for a layout, the modern-day architecture started developing its form and shape. Amongst those 5 points, was the concept of an open or a free plan. This meant that there will be almost no partitions or walls amongst room for activities that conventionally were considered private and utilitarian. Whilst its major impact was on the interiors of small space residences, the concept was appreciated to incorporate various design strategies that were well supported by the idea of an open plan.
Open plans brought with them a plethora of benefits to space. With an enormous amount of natural light flushing in, the spaces became well-lit through the major part of the day. The idea of no partitions created a platform for free-flowing movement and made the spaces seem larger aesthetically. Apart from this, the free plans removed the visual barriers and gave immense transparency. This concept of visual transparency became the stepping stone to a lot of aesthetically free-flowing spaces.
Here are 5 projects that changed the experiential quality of the space by incorporating open plans to add transparency:
1. THE PARKHAUS
This vividly open plan villa in Pune, India, allows for a fascinating movement trajectory. With no visual or physical boundaries in the living room, the dining area and the living area complement each other well dwelling together. The kitchen is divided into two segments: the open and the private kitchen, and this division is done by curved storage space. From the free movement in the lounge to a very directional movement near the kitchen, space goes from public to semi-private to private.
A similar format is followed in the master bedroom where the closet is slightly covering the dressing room but gives a free movement to the bathroom.
2. THE ZEN HOUSE
This zen house in Xiamen, China, is an experiential space. You feel free and calm and in zen because of the absence of boundaries and minimal furniture. The low-heighted room allows one to feel the space on a microscopic level and permits room for a free-flowing furniture layout. The home has created various vision cones in the house, not only on the exteriors by unconventional windows, but also inside the house. This is also achieved by a free-flowing plan and minimum visual barriers.
3. IPOJUCA APARTMENT
The Ipojuca apartment feels like an apartment next door but there is a very clever usage of the concept of open plans. There are multiple free spaces in the house but the approach to them is private and individual; there are narrow passages that lead to these open spaces.
The living room, the dining, and the open kitchen are camouflaged in the entrance lounge, blending well with each other. The study and the entertainment lounge are combined. Even the terrace is designed to be multifunctional, with absolutely no visual or physical barriers.
4. THE REFUGEE HOUSE
This unusual vacation home in the woods of Mangabeiras, Brazil, is a rather linear site with the escapades of a free-flowing furniture layout. Of what seems to be a home for an individual, this home is crossing boundaries of the conventional norms of privacy and seclusion. Not only the living room but even what is supposedly the bedroom, is allowed to dwell free in the house. The layout is aligning with the orientations of the site. The bathroom is allowed to have visual transparency from the beautiful trees outside.
5. THE PEAK
This rather small residence in Melbourne, Australia, with an area of 33 sq.m. is a shelter for homeless youth. The idea of a free plan is used for a very conventional design approach to creating more carpet area and providing an unhinged visual landscape. With a perfectly square site, an L-shaped layout placement has been designed allowing for a relentless aesthetically larger space.