There’s been a whole lot of talk about building walls in recent months – coupled with plenty of lashback, which places attention on an important point: walls are simply overrated. At their most basic, walls are simple the manifestations of made-up boundaries, serving to compartmentalize, distinguish, and retain. Surely, the architects featured in this article will agree: when it comes to quality of life, living in an open, communicative, and easily accessed space provides major benefits. Aside from the physical benefits of open concept living spaces (increased air circulation, ease of movement, simpler communication, better light distribution), open concept spaces can have psychological benefits, such as increased feelings of freedom and potential.
In a celebration of a world with no barriers, take part in an exploration of these 5 fantastic open plan homes that rejoice in their #NoWalls lifestyle!
Many modern renovation projects focus on opening up older models suffering from a compartmentalized layout. The Hambly House in Hamilton, Ontario is no exception! Originally built in 1939, this unique home is one of very few Art Deco homes still standing in Ontario, and the architects who rehabilitated the home worked with their clients to restore the home to its original splendour while also giving consideration to the requirements of a modern lifestyle. In doing so, they’ve significantly de-compartmentalized the interiors and even opened up the top floor with glass walls that communicate openly with the surrounding neighbourhood (seen below). Given the historical significance of the home, the architects and their clients also participated in neighbourhood meetings that allowed the community to weigh in on the project. Both inside and out, this renovation walks the walk when it comes to transparency, honesty, and open communication!
This terraced home in West London offers a refreshingly bright and crisp environment, serving as a highly apt foundation for a healthy family lifestyle. A central storage cabinet/shelf anchors the center of this open concept space, with air, light, heat, and people permitted to move in an effortless circular loop throughout the space. The openness of this room is heightened through the use of sleek materials and glossy surfaces, making for both a smooth sensory experience and an atmosphere abounding with reflected light.
Split-level homes offer a special treat when it comes to an open, communicative design. The staggered levels provide a pre-established separation between the rooms due to their distinct heights, and so these homes can do away with partitions and walls while still retaining enough of a private sense to feel comfortable. This split-level home overlooks Edmonton’s Mill Creek Ravine, each room taking advantage of light and views with ample windows. These open plan rooms are connected by a central stair shaft, its central location providing an efficient way to move easily from floor to floor.
This rural Belgian home is exemplary in its consideration for healthy relationships. Its open, communicative design embraces the scenic hillside location with an expansive terrace and an orientation that permits the residence to gaze out over the slope from almost every room of the home. The home enjoys a sense of openness with its floor-to-ceiling glass walls, supporting a slanted roof that fosters a sense of loftiness and freedom as it inclines energetically towards the far-off horizon. Likewise, the angled slope of the roof creates a more intimate and enclosed space towards the rear of the building, where private living areas achieve a more sheltered feeling.
This beautiful German project showcases the stark beauty of timber teamed with glass, with a complex interior filled with interesting intersections and angles. The lofty ceilings and large dimensions of this home have allowed the architects to include an open walkway that connects the upper floor, with an open stair shaft adding to the sense of movement present in this angular, layered, and directional scheme. Glass walls allow views to pass to separate spaces on both the interior and exterior of the home, creating a communicative space where every location offers a new, visually complex perspective.