The Ingenious Design of Maison Bordeaux: Pushing Boundaries in Architecture

By [Your Name] Image: © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA In the world of architecture, few designs have challenged conventions and captivated the imagination quite like Maison Bordeaux. Created by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and his...

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AD Classics: Maison Bordeaux / OMA - Image 1 of 7 Image: © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA

In the world of architecture, few designs have challenged conventions and captivated the imagination quite like Maison Bordeaux. Created by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA, this iconic residence redefines the idea that "a house is a machine for living." With its innovative spatial dynamics and groundbreaking features, Maison Bordeaux pushes the boundaries of what a home can be.

A Visionary Approach to Space

Maison Bordeaux was originally designed for a couple and their family. However, life took an unexpected turn when the husband was involved in a life-threatening car accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite this adversity, his determination to redefine his world led him to approach Koolhaas with a unique request – a complex design that transcends the ordinary. The resulting architecture goes beyond mere functionality to create a truly extraordinary living experience.

AD Classics: Maison Bordeaux / OMA - Shelving Image: © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA

Koolhaas proposed a deceptively simple volume that housed three stacked houses, each with its own distinct qualities and spatial arrangement. The lower level, carved into the hill, offers a cavernous and labyrinthine interior where the intimate activities of the family unfold. The middle volume, the most transparent and frequently occupied space, blends indoor and outdoor elements seamlessly, providing breathtaking views of Bordeaux and a versatile open plan. The top volume, resembling the lower level in opacity, hides the bedrooms of the couple and their children. Porthole windows penetrate the volume, creating scenic views from the beds.

Overcoming Spatial Complexity

One might wonder how a handicapped man could navigate such a spatially complex house. The answer lies in a central elevator that connects all three levels. However, this is no ordinary elevator; it is cleverly concealed within the husband's office, providing access to every corner of the house. The office itself is elevated and can be raised or lowered thanks to a large hydraulic piston. This fascinating feature not only facilitates vertical circulation but also adds a dynamic element to the space.

AD Classics: Maison Bordeaux / OMA - Facade Image: © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA

The cantilevering design of Maison Bordeaux is another architectural marvel. The upper volume, seemingly floating above the middle volume due to its transparent glass, raises questions about its structural support. A steel tube houses a spiral staircase that runs through all levels of the house, providing essential stability. Additionally, an L-shaped brace supports the rear end of the residence, complemented by a steel beam along the roof. These elements connect to a tension cable buried in the ground, effectively stabilizing the lateral loads - a testament to Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond's visionary collaboration.

A Living Masterpiece

AD Classics: Maison Bordeaux / OMA - Table, Chair Image: © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA

Maison Bordeaux stands as a private residence, closed to public visitors. Nevertheless, its architectural innovation and bold design remain an inspiration to professionals and enthusiasts alike. It exemplifies how a house can transcend its functional purpose and become a work of art; a testament to the power of architectural creativity.

In conclusion, Maison Bordeaux, with its intricate spatial arrangements and sophisticated design, pays homage to the resilience of the human spirit. It redefines the concept of a home, inspiring us to question established norms and constantly push boundaries in the pursuit of creating exceptional living spaces. Maison Bordeaux is more than just a house; it is a masterpiece that continues to captivate and inspire us all.

Note: This article is based on "AD Classics: Maison Bordeaux / OMA" by [Original Author's Name]. The content has been rewritten and enhanced to provide a fresh perspective while staying true to the original concept.

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