How do you breath new life into an anonymous 1960's apartment house, to turn it into a personalized single family home? Step by step removal of interior walls, finishes, and windows; precise placement of new walls, windows and skylights; careful choice of new materials and lighting; and a lot of noise and debris along the way...
In the Bachletten neighborhood of Basel Stadt, a multi-unit apartment building from the 1960's is currently undergoing a complete exterior and interior renovation by Melancon & Co., in collaboration with architect Peter Flubacher, SIA. The four storey building will be converted into a single family residence on the upper two floors with a separately accessed office on the ground floor and basement below. Expected completion Summer 2017.
Tiffany Melançon's essay about the challenges and potentials of continuity in architecture, as told through the "before and after" story of her Artist's Loft House project, has been included in Cartha Magazine's new book On Relations In Architecture, published by Park Books. Cartha launched the book on September 12th with a great Vernissage event at S AM - the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel. Congratulations to the Cartha Team for their beautiful and thoughtful contribution to the world of print publishing.
At the edge of the Allschwiler forest near Basel, Melancon & Co. has planned an extension and renovation of a single family house from the 1970's. The house has a large garden that opens onto the forest and the new owners sought an addition that would enlarge the living space while making better use of the unique situation and landscape. The extension will re-orient the public space of the house (living, kitchen and dining) towards the garden and make a 'seamless' transition between inside and outside. The siting exploits the natural contours of the garden and creates a rich interior/exterior spatial condition. In addition to the extension, the existing house will receive a complete renovation with a new roof, new facade, and new heating, electrical and plumbing.
The renovation of the top floor apartment in a historic condo building in Basel's St. Johann neighborhood is nearing completion. Existing walls between the kitchen and living rooms were removed, while part of the attic floor was cut away to create a high-ceilinged living dining space with an open gallery above. Newly installed skylights in the raised rear roof, enlarged window opening to the balcony, a custom steel spiral stair, as well as a new kitchen, bathrooms, lighting and finishes transformed the dark apartment into a modern, light-filled home.
Near Basel's city center, the top floor of a historic, single family townhouse has been reconfigured to accommodate a family's growing needs. A master suite with new master bath and walk in closet was created from combining two small bedrooms. The child's bedroom was redesigned with a new walk through closet and custom built cabinetry. Outside the bedrooms, the wall enclosing the main stair was demolished to create a light-filled common area with improved connection to the rest of the house. A new, large-format chalkboard niche grounds the space opposite the attic stair. More photos coming soon....
Tiffany's Melançon's essay addressing the potentials and challenges of continuity in architecture was published in issue three of Cartha Magazine, a trimestral magazine about architecture and society. The issues of Cartha are presented on three platforms – a website, a free internet distributed publication, and printed posters. On Tuesday, 9 February 2016, Cartha editors will host an Apéro, presentation, and discussion at Depot Basel, place for contemporary design. The printed posters of the four issues of the “Relations” cycle will be available for taking.
Now In it's third year, the Tulane School of Architecture Switzerland Program introduces graduate and undergraduate students to sites of architectural significance across Switzerland. The 2015 program focused on the city of Basel in the first half, followed by the Swiss Alpine countryside in the second, exploring the complex meanings of urbanity in the small, seemingly rural country. The same as the previous two years, Tiffany developed, coordinated and acted as a faculty lead for the five-day program.
Melancon & Co. is planning the build-out and interior design for the top floor apartment of a historic condo building in Basel's St. Johann neighborhood. Exisitng walls between the kitchen and living rooms will be removed, while the ceiling will be opened to create a double height space with a gallery/ guest sleeping loft above. Work includes bathroom and kitchen design, new stair design and all interior finishes and detailing.
Near Basel's city center, the top floor of a single family townhouse is being reconfigured to accommodate a family's growing needs. An existing small bathroom will be demolished while a second larger master bathroom will be built in a new location. A new interior window will borrow natural light from an exisiting sklight for the new bathroom. A wall between two small bedrooms will be demolished to create a new master bedroom with a spacious walk-in closet and the wall and door to the exisiting stair hall will be cut away to better connect the new bedrooms with each other and the rest of the house.
After more than a year of planning and construction, the Basel Townhouse owners have moved into their new home.
Melancon & Co., in building collaboration with Beck + Oser Architekten, executed the full gut-renovation, removing the roof, adding two floors and extending the ground floor at the rear. All interior walls and floors were demolished, rebuilt and refinished to make an entirely new townhome that retains the original character of the house.
As part of their International Practice Lecture Series, the Rome Program of Tulane School of Architecture invited Tiffany to talk about architecture and urbanism in Switzerland. The one hour lecture focused on the political/ cultural context of building in Switzerland as told through the work of the two most important contemporary Swiss architecture practices – Herzog & de Meuron and Atelier Peter Zumthor.
Stadt / Land: Stories of Building in Switzerland described the historical and pervasive Swiss City/Countryside divide by looking at Herzog & de Meuron within the city of Basel (committed urbanists, active proponents of densification working on large-scale master plans around the globe) and Peter Zumthor in the Alpine countryside (the rural idealist, lone-working pastural craftsman and refuser of rapid growth).
The tension between the two and the place where their work overlaps is the heart of the Swiss building story.
For the second year in a row, Tiffany was pleased to welcome a group of architecture students and professors from Tulane University of New Orleans for a five-day architecture and urbanism tour through Switzerland. Tiffany designed and led the program to introduce students to the complex and multifacted conditions of building in a small country where nearly 70% of the territory is mountainous terrain, almost 40% of unbuilt land is protected farmland, and the pressure of growth from an increasing population is further challenged by political and ideological boundaries. Architects and a highly engaged citizenry equally shape the built environment in Switzerland.