33 Open Homes With Multiple Stories Across a Vertical Open Plan
For over half a century, the open floor plan has remained at the cutting edge of interior architecture, with both new-build and renovation clients choosing to splice together rooms and their functions to bring more harmonious connectivity to their homes. Families, despite busier schedules, were able to cook, talk, study, and relax together, all at the same time.
As it can force users to share their space with competing sounds, smells, and ambiances, however, many are turning away from the open plan with new concepts such as the broken plan gaining ground. Another evolutionary route for the open-plan, meanwhile, is to move upwards. In combination with double-, triple-, or even higher-story living spaces, the open-plan is given the space it needs to breathe while staying connected to the rest of the home.
These highlighted projects, taken from the ArchDaily archive, relay the advantages of opening up the space above. Whether it’s to flood them with extra natural light, to change the aspect ratio of the view with additional high windows; to improve the bioclimatic conditions in a warm climate; to keep large, expansive homes feeling homely and connected; or simply just to create stunning feature-filled architecture, the advantages are many.
Flooding Wide Open-Plan Spaces With Light and Looking Back the Other Way
Going deeper into the center of an enclosed structure, open-plan spaces on lower floors can struggle to stretch light all the way back to their inside edge. This is where clerestory windows, positioned at a higher point on a sun-facing wall, can have an impact, allowing the sun to stream through for a longer period of the day. By doubling the height of a large room’s exterior wall, architects can choose high-rising windows or glass facades to extend a room’s internal daylight hours further.
In the Rau Haus, for example, ‘light wells and clerestory windows,’ as architects Feldman Architecture share, ‘welcome morning light and offer peeks of greenery without compromising privacy.’ More than just the peaks of surrounding greenery are supplied at the Kyukaruizawa Club Villa in Karuizawa, Japan, meanwhile, where tall windows at both lower and upper levels ‘connect the dining space and the forest in front of it,’ explain the architects Narus Inokuma Architects, enabling visitors to feel surrounded by the full height of the forest.
Using The Chimney Effect In Open Vertical Spaces For Bioclimatic Design
The chimney effect, causing warmer air to rise and in turn creating a vacuum to invite cooler air in to replace it, can be a serious issue for high architectural volumes. But it can also be a serious advantage, if understood and used correctly. At the PIN8 House in Girona, Spain, for example, ‘thermal comfort is guaranteed in winter, explain architects PMMT Arquitectura, ‘with well-oriented openings that maximise solar incidence,’ while the chimney effect encourages cross ventilation, helping to avoid thermal stratification in the summer.
A more literal example of the chimney effect can be visualised at the Stupa House in Kecamatan Pinang, Indonesia, meanwhile, as the house’s double-story open-plan living space is topped with two large chimney volumes. ‘With tiny gaps at the top of the skylights,’ explain architects Realrich Architecture Workshop, the volumes help to circulate air around both the open living space and the connecting hallway on a mezzanine floor.
Keeping Expansive Homes Connected
For many of us, having a quiet space to retreat to and be alone is a near-necessity for a comfortable life. At the same time, however, the loneliness of an empty room, especially one far away from the gentle hubbub of the presence of others, can make us feel disconnected from life. In this extensive 1,150 sqm home in Ahmedabad, India, for example, where the children have bedrooms situated in a completely different wing to their parents, a passageway just outside their corridor leads to a bridge that overlooks the open-plan family space, meaning they’re never too far away.
When utilized in a much smaller setting but for the same purpose, the double-height of the open-plan in the Masook House family residence in Thailand allows all three of the family’s bedrooms to directly connect comfortably with the shared living space. Meanwhile, by keeping the entire north side of the property clear and served with full-height windows on both levels, architects Studio PATH have filled it with natural light and ventilation.
Adding High Drama To Open Spaces With Taller Full-Height Features
There are many complex scientific advantages of double-height spaces that take into account measurable variables such as light and temperature, as well as harder-to-measure relative variables such as comfort, connectivity, and wellness. An altogether different advantage of having twice as much height, however, is the sheer breathtaking drama of it all.
By extending the three-dimensional concrete brickwork of a feature wall in the Swatanatra Residence in Agra, India, over three stories, for example, it encourages users to stop and experience the full height of the volume above – or below. The same effect can be caused across three dimensions meanwhile, by using the extra height to drop iconic light fixtures in place. This one at Villa K in Dubai, UAE, hovers above a grand piano in the home’s stunning entranceway.
Inspired by a client’s experience in monasteries and temples, meanwhile, architects of the House Under a Boat project were tasked with creating a sense of immersion. By covering the walls of the home’s double-height center with bookshelves, and scattering complementing desks in between, visitors to the building are immersed in a world of knowledge, ’encouraged to sit down and read or write when the feeling struck,’ share the architects Chaoffice.
All 33 Homes With Vertical Open Plans
Rau Haus / Feldman Architecture
Kyukaruizawa Club Villa / Naruse Inokuma Architects
PIN8 House / PMMT Arquitectura
Stupa House / Realrich Architecture Workshop
Abhikram House / Khosla Associates
Masook House / Studio PATH
Swatantra Residence / Spaces Architects@ka
Villa K / IAIA – Idea Art Interior Architects
House Under The Boat / Chaoffice
Casa Interstice / NØRA studio
Dimmick Drive Houses / FreelandBuck
Casa De Mi Luna / Studio Circle Growth
Pertaia House / ARGDL
House between Gardens / TEC Taller EC
The Slab House / 3dor Concepts
Mulix House / Arkham Projects
Peng’s House / L&M Design Lab
Des Forges Residence / Bourgeois / Lechasseur architectes
Lenka House / Khosla Associates
ALIVE Residence / Sa Ta Na Architects
Nairy Residence / Funktion Design
House M / Studio Atomic
The White Bleached House / Neogenesis+Studi0261
Treetops House / OB Architecture
Cacho House / Estudio Grizzo Arquitectos
Tree Island House / Carter Williamson Architects
Arbor House / Brown & Brown Architects
House Blvd Mandinga / Taller Multidisciplinar
FC Residence / F:Poles Arquitetura
DKS House / MAS Architecture
Small Brick House / Tung Nguyen Architects
Split House / Shinsuke Fuji Architects
Gather House / Story Architecture
Find these sustainable projects in this My ArchDaily folder created by the author.
This article is part of an ArchDaily series that explores features of interior architecture, from our own database of projects. Every month, we will highlight how architects and designers are utilizing new elements, new characteristics, and new signatures in interior spaces around the world. As always, at ArchDaily, we highly appreciate the input of our readers. If you think we should mention specific ideas, please submit your suggestions.