House Architecture // Computer Architecture

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Inspired by the computer structure, I'm building my house in Paris. Please comment and inspire me.

Also on cesar harada _ space

Step 1: 1985 : Step 1 Hehehe

my family arrived long ago in here, we used to live the 5 of us in this 30m2 at the beginning. Now my brother went away and my parents allow me to live in here for the two coming 2 years if i don't have anywhere else. So i started to rebuild this appartment also because it became dirty and impossible to live in now as there was a squat above with a lot of plumbery disasters on us ...

I want to make this construction a cool project, that's why i put it in instructables, it's a on going project i'm building those days, day after day, and i hope to have some feedbacks and ideas from little instructables geniuses ! Thanks !

My main idea is to build this house like a computer, modulable, fluid, compact, strong, user-friendly, warm, beautifull, simple ...{{{

Step 2: 2006 : My Parents Work

My parents repared this flat and we all lived there for some years. Than my elder brother who is an exellent lawyer but not very involved in house reparing lived in for almost 10 years and the building aged very fast.

Water infiltrations, dangerous electric installation, global humidity and coldness, insufficient lighting, floor and wall desagregation, parasites in insultaion .... too many problems to be face ... I decided with my parents agreeement and financial support to rebuild it entirely ... from scratch !


karate technics were usefull for this part !

Step 4: Building Up a New Little World !

This space is pretty much like a cube 5 x 6 x 4 (deep x large x high) m.

My desire was to make it like a factory : a moving bridge would enable to move massive objecs in this tiny space. The nature of the floor (above caves) revealed this project was impossible + the presence of such an industrial machine (costy as well) would ba a problem if htis space had to be rented in the future.

I immediatley saw that i need a floor to have a "clean" living space, as many of my activities are dusty or noisy. So the mezanine was a good solution, possible with 4m high ceiling but only possible with a thin and strong metallic strucutre.

I wanted the front of my appartment to be openable by it's half, like a theater scene (imagine a dance piece starting in an appartment just as soon as you open the door the entire space opens up to the street !), but i wasn't legaly allowed of such an important front change (paris urbanism law are strict on this point).

Step 5: Concrete Floor

we didn't have the budget to have a motorised rotating concrete machine so i had to do 5tons of concrete by hand. It was a tiring option.

The entire electric cicuit was underground, which is very efficient but has some weak points :
- impossible to move or adapt, upgrade
-dangerous when you drill the floor deep (but this doesn't happen much ... hehe )

i found out that even in a small apartment you quickly end up with a lot of cables so i did some "tressage" with it to make it fit, so good !

The concrete was finished with a thin layer of "ré-agréage". We had not enough of it so we diluted it : very bad idea : my floor is more fragile where the liquid concrete was too diluted (budget ! grr).

Step 6: De Divinae Proportions

The largst door i was allowed to do not to overpass paris urbanistic law is this size, that will do.
The door opens up and down, so an object as large as the outer frame can enter this little house !!! I can almost build a car inside (NEXT INSTRUCTABLE !).

I insisted on the locking system (the windows as well) and photo detail will be here after the window is built and installed in the reality, some steps further.

Step 7: Insulation

for sound and cold i had to put isulation.
When you have a fat pile of insulation taking your entire living room you can see that i takes a lot of volume ... but ! ... after you have posed it on every wall you just forgt how immense the volume it use to take ! But ! ! you feel a slight reduction in your apprtment volume still ... but ! it's a little wamer and sounds sounds smoother ... your neighbours start to forget about you again, fortunately ...

Step 8: LIGHT !

than i installe two tracks of neons !
My house looks like a lightbox out from the street, it's beuatifully white and blinding ! So clear .

Step 9: White Invisible Ceiling

Than i painted the ceiling white and pasted the angles of the wall with plaster to make them curve, to reflect the light and make this space a lot smoother ! if you get close to the ceiling the limit between the walls and the ceiling disapears : at the begining it's disturbing because you can't see what is what, but than the impression youy get is super smooth ...

Step 10: Mezanine

now construction inside the construction : the mezanine.
I wanted a simple super-strong mezanine, to sleep, study, make love, have my books, computers, clothing upstairs, far from the dust ...
The mezanine would be also here to protect intimacy : i want to be able to welcome my guests in a simple white box and still have my mess behind the slim door : japanese mobile door will slive and possibly ocver the entire mezanine content in the future, leaving the rest of the space PURE EXPERIMENTATION AND WORK-FUN !

Step 11: First Hated Wall

i had to build this wall to separate the bathroom in the back from the kitchen (intimacy...).
I hate building walls.

In the coming days, i'm going to have to order the wood to build the floor and the furnitures.

I want to build this space and it's module like a computer is designed, logical, simple, functionnal, adjustable and strong.

I want to build and organise my bookshelves like in librairies.

I want ot build my cloth boxes in the shape of a body.

I want to put my electric circuits like a computer.

I want to organise air and hitting, water hitting like computer ventilation.

ect ect ....

So this is where i am today (june 2007) : so if you have any idea, reference of similar project, suggestions, please HELP ME, the project is under development !
Thanks !

Step 12: New Door Step

I had to replace the old door step by a new one : carve the old one and remove a little bit more of concrete to enlarge the door. Afer removing the old one I drew a larger one and asked my father (stone sculptor) to cut one for me in granite (arigato otosan !). While I was replacing the door step, the room became very vulnerable to robbery, so I simply made two massive holes to put a heavy chain through the door + a big british lock.

Step 13: New Door !

Shortly after the new doorstep I received the door i designed long ago (step6) : a steel frame finished with epoxy (cooked epoxy is hard**** finish but so $$$$ it hurts). So we had to cut the front of the building with big stone cutting saw and remove the glass carefully from a little scaffolding. We dug many anchor point in the existing facade to set the door stable, all fixed with quick hardening cement. We installed the frame first, than the door without the glass). The first night the new door was locked with the chain, to leave me the time to install the door proper lock. The door has 3 locking points and when open is H-U-G-E (180cm wide) ! The side that is holding the windows had to be re-inforced by an extra steel bar I tapped to the doorframe.
Thanks to Martin and Nasser for their help !!!! INSTRUCTABLES PARIS IN DA HOUSE !

Step 14: Polish and Paint

The beautiful days arrived, summer was here ! So i took the chance to paint the front of the building first floor (they wouldn't let me paint only my place !). I also installed the glass on the window : I placed simple glass with plastic joints. The glass is pinched between the door and a removable "U" steel frame inserted smoothly hammered from the inside.

Step 15: Wooden Floor, Curtains

Than i installed wooden floor on the metallic structure. I tried to make an invisible junction between the four massive wood pieces with a mixture of polyurethane glue and wood dust, and wasn't very successfull in terms of aesthetic as polyurethane expands when it dries : i had to remove some glue and correct the levels so the floor doesn't look perfect as some layers of the plywood appears on some junction ... but the joint is very strong ... I prefer liability to beauty ...this time hehehe !

On the pictures you can see that I already started to live in there : I had to write a thesis "forcefeedback systems" that is still in progress (i hand in september 2007 hopefully and it will be freely downloadable by the way !). For intimacy I installed stainless steel cables and sewed simple white curtains with a double layer at the bottom so people in the streets can't see through. The rings are fixed on the curtain are also stainless steel so the curtain miraculously slides on the cable SSSWWWWWWWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPP !

While living in this 'white cube' I noticed the anormal presence of dust especially in the computer's venitlation ... where was it coming from ? ...

Step 16: Using the Space : Testing the White Cube : Writting an Essay

I feel extremely lucky to have had this wonderful white wall for myself for writting this thesis ! I could just organise my brain _ like the essay _ like the space around me, it was marvellous to be living -litteraly- inside my brain, i was like i a dream : with the curtain closed, just stopping working for some food and some sleep sometimes. I got so autistic in this space !

I write on little white papers that i stick with adhesive on walls : I cut and glue, I continuously reconfigure and re-structure my thinking. I love the idea that modules can be also divided, to have the minimum static entity inside a coherent impure ensemble.

Using this thinking, I want to have the minimum of "immobilier" (french for construction in the building) and a maximum of "mobilier" (mobile furniture) so I can easily reconfigure my space.

Step 17: Sliding Doors !

As planned, helped by Evan Hill, James Hohenberger (carpentry) Brook Hsu (adjusting) and Joti Poirier (moral support and cookies !) we cutted and adjusted these wonderful sliding doors. THANKS AMERICA !

The upper ones are designed in a japanese traditional way : no metal, no mecanic, simple boards slinding into adjusted and waxed rails.
The lower one are made with the occidental industrial style : simple wooden boards suspended to "little rolling cars" (a couple for each board) in "U" shaped steel profiles. I decided not to put any guide fixed to the floor downstairs as the door are suspended (they shouldn't bend too much as they are suspended vertically ... i hope ).

Both system are extremely efficient and in 10cm depth it was possible to fit 4 layers of doors ! I have 8 sliding doors on each level, so when all aligned to the minimum, the space can look very open. To the contrary, when all closed it provides a very isolated room upstairs as downstairs : you can cook downstairs or sleep upstairs when someone is with the light on in the 'working area'.

Step 18: Public Test of the Space _ SELF SELECT, Fashion-art-performance by Yoshinari NISHIO

The construction was interrupted again shortly after making the doors by the exhibition SELF SELECT of Yoshinari NISHIO, fashion artist from Tokyo. For me it was also the occasion to see how people behave in this space becoming public. The small size of the galery, the big size of the door, the quiet nice street proved that the outside is equaly confortable in the summer. Many peope came to see the exhibition, I never announced the 'opening of the galery' and everyone behaved like it always existed heheeh !! Photos by Takashi Usui.

Step 19: Plumbery, Fixed Furnitures

Now I'm fixing the last electric details and the plumbery. I hope I'm building the last fixed furnitures, I want the rest to be as mobile as possible. So I'm now installing the toilet, a little sink, a shower (large), a double sink (kitchen). I will do the gas with a mobile bottle so the gaz furniture can move. Only furniture dealing with water are going to have to be fixed ... That wasn't my original plan though : i wanted to have one main evacuation and direct all cables to it, i wanted to able to shower anywhere in the house .... but it was too expensive to do so ...

SO THIS IS HOW FAR I AM NOW (JULY 2007) please ccomment and tell me what you think, any suggestion is warmly welcomed ! Make me update this if I happen to forget ! THANK YOU VERY MUCH !

I usualy publish first here cheers ! and thanks for reading !




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    42 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    The differences between before and after are very impressive! Thanks for sharing.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Good Gosh …
    According to the combinations photos you posted in case your house arrangement gets its inspiration from computers this certainly refers to Windows not Apple ! …

    Autrement dit : on n'y comprend rien puisqu'on ne voit rien !!!…
    Franchement il y a là un sérieux travail de présentation, surtout si tu veux faire preuve d'originalité et présenter l'ensemble comme un "instructable", c'est à dire un travail dont les internautes peuvent tirer parti.
    J'espère que tu reconnaitras aisément que c'est tout de même mal parti.

    En outre, et surtout, en quoi l'organisation générale de ce loft est elle si originale par rapport à tous les autres ateliers parisiens des 18e, 19e, 20e (et autres) arrondissements qui ont été transformés en logements ?

    Otherwise, be thankful to your parents to provide you with a suitable place to live in Paris, you lucky one ! … 
    Eat well, sleep well, be happy ! …

    2 replies

    Are you talking about this kind of mac -I guess you own- mister "be thankful to your parents to provide you with a suitable place to live in Paris". 
    I built this place and left to live abroad, economically independent since I am 16 years old Vincent. I haven't had the chance to live in this studio unfortunately, tenants came in few days after I finished the construction and posted this back in 2007. I wish I was living there, I've been living out of France since then. I repaired that place so my parents can rent it and support their modest pension, you have a problem with that? 

    Yes, this is not a greatly detailed instructables and as you kindly  remark, it may not even be as original as the "75020" you want to be proud of.
    "vincent7520 has not posted any instructables yet..."
    Why don't you post your highly detailed and creative house re-furbishing you make yourself, share your designs, than we'll speak. Be nice.

    Ah ! C'mon don't take it too badly. I' sorry, but you said in your inst' that you lived in there so I supposed you were to enjoy the renovation two …
    Nothing against helping parents particularly since I'm part of the lot ! …
    SO far I didn't post any inst' for the very simple reason that :
    1) all my construction works (compete house renovation, boat building, one room apartment in the "vingtième" refurbishing) have been done with and finished since long, and NO I will not start again just to post an inst' !!!…
    2) I discovered Instructables a few months ago and I'm still exploring.

    So when I feel there is something worth posting be assured I will.

    Then again my apologies if you had the feeling I was overly critical : I was just trying to make a light french manner joke. I have nothing about people being lucky and living in Paris. To be honest I shouldn't my 20 years old daughter who's still a student is already the owner of her own 40 sqm apartment in the heart of Paris… and yes, I'll agree with you, this rotten luck.
    So you should understand there was nothing critical in my post about how I thought you live …
    It was only a remark about the discrepancy between what you promised : a computer like house concept and pictures that show very little …
    As for the rest either write it off or take it as a light way to end a message. Nothing against you.
    Cheers and again, may your life be as good as you wish…


    9 years ago on Step 17

    man you need to learn how to use a camera and there is something wrong with your image proc!!!.


    11 years ago on Step 19

    Thats amazing, I didn't see how it would fit at the start but wow it really is nice.

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 19

    not yet, but I do plan to. I would like to get an apprenticeship when one is available and become a carpenter. I want to find a nice small valley or cliff to build a living area on, like a house separated into small towers over the cliff face.

    cesar haradaQuickeagle

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 19

    Thanks ! It is super comfortable too! The main "deffect" I could think of is the lighting: I couldn't put a light switch on the right nor left so I installed a light above the sink with a switch on the light, it 's ok, maybe not as comfortable as a classical sink at elbow-height. Are you involved in construction too? Good luck!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Could you give an update as to the finished state of the house?
    I'm quite interested in this project, and would love to see pictures of the finished state.


    3 replies
    cesar haradaHugo.B

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    HI ! Thanks for reminding me to keep this project updated ! Here we go 8 new steps !!! Please comment, and thanks a lot for your attention !

    Hugo.Bcesar harada

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the addition to the instructable, I have enjoyed it greatly.
    I think in much the same way about space, houses and computers.
    I think you you would find bookshelvesbookshelves a great addition to the space, as they take up little space, and are extremely useful.
    Your source of ideas and inspiration bubbles up so fast that you are pasting notes on the walls...
    P.S. Don't let your computer get too dusty! They can be destroyed by dust.


    cesar haradaHugo.B

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    These bookshelves are awsome ! Thanks for the link. They depend on the wall strength, my walls are probably too weak (thermic isolation layer) unfortunately. I plan to rely more on gravity, hehe I've always trusted more floors than walls hehehe ... For the dust, you are right, i must be carefull and before I bring the computaer back in there I'll definitely work on the coating and ventilation. You will probably be interested by this article on computer architecture. Cheers.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nice remodel. I thought you were making your computer case look like a house, that might be interesting.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I would also consider multi purpose furniture. Check out the Nomad Furniture instructable also. You are in a fairly tight space, so anything you can do to make it feel bigger is good. Some of this furniture can be styled to look like Computer components if you like.

    cesar haradajeffreyf

    Reply 12 years ago

    great ! thanks ! i didn't just know the english world so couldn't do the related researches ! thanks this word is going to be usefull in my researches ! (and maybe i should improve my english vocabulary it's poor) cesar

    jeffreyfcesar harada

    Reply 12 years ago

    You're welcome. Feel free to post in French too. If people are confused by your English, they can use google to Auto-translate, like this: Vous êtes bienvenu. Sensation librement au poteau en français aussi. Si les gens sont confondus par votre anglais, ils peuvent employer le google pour traduire, comme ceci :