In the classic story The Little Prince, a simple illustration demonstrates how the contents of a space can define the overall shape of the space. The illustration looks like a hat at first, but further reading and a second illustration reveal that the first image was of a boa constrictor swallowing a gigantic elephant. The hat shape was actually the snake’s body conforming to the contours of the elephant’s shape.
In a similar fashion, Frankfurt architecture firm reinhardtjung gave two apartments in Berlin a kind of fluid and changeable interior shape. Walls pivot and slide to alter the functionality of the interior spaces as needed. The white on white color scheme disguises the borders and thresholds of the spaces, allowing the residents to define each interior area themselves.
While most homes’ interior spaces are defined by a single function and by the existing physical boundaries (like walls) between spaces, the FNS Apartments are far more open to interpretation. Residents can simply redefine spaces as needed or desired, “floating” the boundaries in whatever way seems appropriate at that moment.
Housing, in this way, becomes far more fluid and user-defined rather than a static program handed over from architect to resident with little room for interpretation or experimentation. It is now a hybrid of space and function – a series of areas defined by the way the resident is using them at that time.