Big Space, Little Space

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A 1920s garage transformed into a workshop and living space.

Following on the footsteps of the He, She & It project, Big space, Little space takes on a more unconventional and creative approach to architectural design. The Davidson Rafailidis studio completely transformed this 1920s masonry garage in in Buffalo, New York. The new structure is a multi-functional space that adapts to the needs of the inhabitants. Drawing inspiration from the ever-changing nature of buildings, the team designed a flexible dwelling and workshop. “While the role of the initial designer or user is reduced in the process, the role of a building by contrast becomes more generous, offering up unexpected uses and formal reinterpretations. Even in the time-span of a single year spaces can offer changing and distinct qualities that require that users engage with their lived spaces in different ways,” explains the team.

Big space, Little space features a blend of live and work areas as well as a clever layout that allows the clients to modify the interior. During the winter months, the space becomes cozy and private. Throughout warmer weather, the spacious workshop, garden and roof terrace expand the living spaces. Preserving its industrial style, the interior features exposed brick walls as well as rusted steel and concrete surfaces. This project has won the Emerging Voices Award 2018 from The Architectural League of New York and the AZ Jury Award 2018 from Azure Magazine, Canada. Photographs© Florian Holzherr.

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