Introduction: THREE ROOMS

This project is part of my graduation thesis, developed with Aga Batkiewicz on the architectural phenomenon of the enclave. 'Three Rooms' is the attempt to develop very basic and timeless architectural models of enclosure, that would act as a source for future architectural projects.


FIND A PROBLEMEver since its origins, architecture has always been struggling between openness and enclosure, the individual and the collective. The man in the image, worshipping in his self-constructed desert mosque, shows us how little it takes to delineate, and give meaning to a space. Setting boundaries - between inside and outside, private and public - seems to be the fundamental act of architecture.
Can we explore the notion of the boundary with hands-on experiments?


The experiment starts at the room, as the smallest form of architecture.
The constraints were the minimum space for a person (determined as 3
x 4.85 x 3m), and the minimum dimensions of the human body meeting space (in sitting, laying, standing position). We dissected the volume into a wall and a core, in six different ways.


To test out ways in which the human body could occupy the space we produced a series of variations on each of them, starting from a solid core or a solid wall, respectively.


From the catalogue of rooms, we chose six examples each and printed physical gipsum models of them. this was very important to understand what our ideas actually meant in terms of space, material and light.


After dissecting them, the wall and the core were reunited. The minimum room now consisted of three elements: a shell, a core and a space in-between. Trying to explore the boundaries of this finding, we developed three extreme configurations of it. What we obtained were three models of quite distinct architectures: An architecture of the mass with the maximum shell (resembling an Egyptian tomb), an architecture of the space with the maximum in-between space (resembling the Roman basilica – the predecessor of the Maison Dom-ino) and a more balanced configuration with the maximum core (resembling the classic Greek temple)

Step 6: APPLY

Now, more complex spatial systems are developed from the three rooms.


For our final model, we seeked to set in stone the three spatial principles we developed. We chose a traditional way of model making: the gipsum cast. Process and material properties inevitably leave traces on the model, making it both imperfect and unique. As attractive as the idea of purity and precision might be, those little imperfections are the crown of beauty.