$ € £ apartment| Rijeka, Croatia | 2018 | realised
Real estate is a form of wealth.
Instead of romantic view on housing as a basic human need and a right for all – under right market conditions apartments generate direct and measurable income. Driven by an ever-increasing tourist influx, renting became one of income sources with the bright future ahead. With the rich industrial heritage, excellent traffic connections and vibrant university, Rijeka is rapidly adopting mass AirBnBization and the accompanying gentrification of the city center. Due to seasonality of Croatian tourism, most of profits are generated in the summer period, mainly from May to September. Other months in a year dwelling is more profitable as small office or as a student housing. Therefore, the main task becomes organizing >3 scenarios in 42 m2 flat.
This interesting uncertainty demands some architectural decisions throughout the design process.
19th century historic building is retrofitted for ever-changing use trough subtraction of fixed elements and addition of flexible ones, like movable partitions and screens. Original floor plan is removed of walls for better connectivity, light and openness. Main element in the new design are movable glass partitions which are organizing the space as 3 separate rooms or one, depending on the scenario. With appropriation of space, original apartment lives at least three different lives, depending on seasonal economy and owner’s wishes. By adopting this strategy flat becomes cheaper to upkeep and easier to convert, bound to market conditions, not architectural materiality.