Four-Story Home With Functional Transparent-Walled Atrium
A French revolution has taken place in a tall but narrow home in La Rochelle. Le Studio Pierre Antoine Compain gave the four-story home an uncommon treatment by arranging its layers around a central atrium reaching from the ground floor all the way to the very top of the home.
The home is called the White House due to its generous use of white paint on walls and ceilings. This color choice has a dual purpose: it creates a very modern, minimal impression and also reflects light to make the rather small home appear larger. The floors are a light-colored wood, and little pops of bright colors keep the interior from feeling boring. Fuschia storage units line some of the walls so belongings can be tucked away to keep the living space looking clean and modern.
But of course, the star of the show is the four-level enclosed atrium. Most atria are simply decorative, but this is a functional feature of the home that houses space for work, play, and storage. Its transparent walls help the structure to feel light and airy while taking up very little visual space. The overall flow of the home is maintained and the natural light spreads freely throughout the space.
A tiny spiral staircase leads from the ground floor up to the very top of the home. Its very small footprint and tight spiral mean that it takes up virtually no physical space, but it does add another interesting (and functional!) visual element to the home. Follow it all the way to the top and you’ll find a tiny library in the enclosed top of the atrium, just below a large skylight.
At every level, the atrium is surrounded by the home’s functional areas. At the ground level, where the atrium begins, a small white staircase leads down through a section of glass floor. A full office occupies this space, which might otherwise feel disconnected or dingy. Thanks to the glass floor/ceiling, the office is filled with light and provides what looks to be a delightful place to spend a workday.