With working from home becoming a norm for Giulia and Roberto, the need to balance everyday life with office stress becomes a challenge in a small apartment. Giulia and Roberto needed the ability to compartmentalize their limited space, creating work zones that can easily be tucked away when it is time to relax at home. A system of ceiling panels allows the office stress to be pushed or pulled out of sight, and out of mind. Using a series of electronic roller belts and fold down panels, Roberto and Giulia can transform their entire floor plate from home to office. Inspired by JCPCDR Architecture’s “Flying Table” the ceiling system at Roberto and Giulia’s apartment functions with a series of seat belts, fasteners, and electric roller motors.
The conference table, personal desks, and dining table are held by four seat belts fastened at each corner. A motorized roller above the ceiling rolls the belts up and down with just a push of a button. Once these surfaces are secured – either with a metal bracket or fold out legs – the belts are unfastened and recede back above the ceiling. In addition to these surfaces, six fold-down panels are hinged to the ceiling above and can easily be pushed up or down to create barriers between the bedroom or Roberto and Giulia’s personal work spaces. These panels are made of acoustical dampening material and covered in fabric, creating a dual sound barrier and pin-up surface for Giulia’s designs. A series of four transparent barn doors slides along the middle wall to create a sound barrier and visual divide at the conference area. Since the couple will be meeting virtually and in person with clients and peers, the conference room can be sectioned off to divide Giulia and Roberto’s respective areas. When Giulia meets with her clients she can fold down the hinged panels and pin up presentations. Roberto can slide the barn doors to allow more privacy between his virtual meetings and Giulia’s studio space.
Giulia’s studio is comprised of the fold down pin-up space, a desk, and the larger dining table surface which can act as a secondary work space when she has a deadline. Roberto’s office is a simple desk with views to the exterior. When the work day ends, their individual desks can be pulled back up into the ceiling and their bed can then come back down. If one of them gets sick, the folding panels can come down and make a self-quarantine area. Since the pandemic has forced a lot of residents inside, Giulia and Roberto can experience the fun of the outdoors without leaving their apartment. A patch of artificial grass at the living room window allows for Giulia to practice her yoga just like she would if she were in the park. Two swings in the outdoor patio can be pulled down to create a dynamic seating element, just like a park playground. The ability to push and pull away their workspaces gives Roberto and Giulia the ability to enjoy their entire apartment during leisure time. With the fun of outdoors inside, they are better able to social distance during the pandemic. The ceiling system of push and pulls allows the full functionality of an office space hidden away in a comforting home.