With only forty square meters of space and a single side that can access the outdoors, this little garage is an unlikely candidate for a home retrofit. Amazingly, a plan was made and successfully executed to convert the homeliest of tiny structures into an enviable abode.
The before and after photographs of the renovation by Fabre/DeMarien are nothing short of astonishing – a nondescript, white-painted, corrugated-metal garage door that formerly folded upward was replaced with a warm pair of wood panels that slide past one another.
Inside, a small forecourt opens up in two directions to access the interior – or serve as a secluded wooden-planked deck space when the front section is closed off to the street. Suddenly, the dull curved red tiles on the roof also seem quaint and homey against the wood grain rather than awkward and old.
Within the home itself, white dominates to create a sense of spaciousness, with industrial poured-concrete floors that still reflect its former life as a garage (and a wood-paneled cabinetry, couch and desk block to offset these more austere choices).
The wooden section in the rear is sliced open to create cubby spaces for seating and working, while a stair around the side leads up to a lofted bedroom sitting beneath a skylight – not quite a second story in some double-height space, but sufficient for sleeping.
“The project consists of transforming an existing garage into a one-room apartment of 41 m2 living space. It is part of a theme that we have been working on for five years which is ‘building the city on the city,’ by transforming commercial premises, storage, warehouse into housing.”
“The existing garage is located at Passage Buhan, in the immediate vicinity of Place Stalingrad. Access is via two gates from the streets of Monméjean-la Bastide and de la Benauge. The buildings face each other along a private road of which each owner owns half. The garage has only one facade on the passage of six meters in length. Its other faces are terraced and blind.”