The illusion is as dramatic as the surrounding architecture is conventional – this small space addition to an existing town home is sufficiently different and strategically placed to appear like an independent little home or treehouse-caliber hideout.
Designed by NeM Architectes (images by Rémy Castan), the structure is partly supported by the house from which it extends, then subtly held up by secondary supports next to the adjacent building. In back, the interior space flows out onto a small exterior porch with a view of the town below (Gentilly, France).
On the street side, the white slats of its exterior pick up the verticals of the picket fence below, giving the facade a space-spanning visual integrity. The use of white and lack of setback also makes it seem somewhat contiguous with the neighboring facades, while the slatwork-style thin verticals set it simultaneously apart.
At less than ten feet wide, the mini-structure both is and frames an anomaly, the latter in the form of the parking space and entry path gap below. Inside, it can be stepped up or down into from two areas of the split-level house to which it is attached.
Per ArchDaily: “The idea of the suspended cabin originated in the need for a large extra space, the characteristics of the site, and the owner’s desire to keep a car park and to take advantage of an exterior sheltered area. As a separate entity, the extension is connected to the existing house using hidden pillars fixed to the gable. The wooden frame and the marine plywood cladding were built on site over three days.”
“The extension cladding suggests transparency and abstraction, only revealing the street-facing window when it is lit at night. A large window opens on the valley, offering the best possible framing for the vista. The extension, built on two levels, can be accessed from the second floor of the existing house.”