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Martins Afonso Uses Nets To Create Suspended Play Space For Children

Mickaël Martins Afonso

Architect Mickaël Martins Afonso used a net to create an extra level in this house in France, creating extra space above the living room for the client’s children to read and relax. The owners wanted to renovate and adapt this house to their way of life, a more comfortable one, and above all, in accordance with their tastes.

The main asset of the house was its light, and the double-height volume in the living room, unexploited until then. As a result, a mezzanine net came to life in this space, allowing the outdoor light to come through, yet offering another way to take over this area.

 Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso

The white floor on the ground floor, beyond its high reflective potential, brings out all the elements that are put down on it. The flooring shade also highlights an inversion of sensations with the shuttered concrete ceiling. This change upsets the habits to reinforce the notion of the void at the center of the net.

 Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso

The integrated furnishings, mostly oak with some black spots, bring warm fragments to the place, as gold nuggets one ties oneself to and which structure the clear and infinite space. The goal was to reorganize these living spaces developed upon two floors, in order to create a general coherence in the project, while at the same time creating distinct areas dedicated to a specific use.

 Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso

The central area links both levels as a backbone. It is a huge sculpted wooden volume, in which several functions and usages are articulated: it is, on the one hand, the stairs that lead to the other floors but also access the basement, the toilets, the bar, the library, the storage for vinyl records, and the television unit. The whole is materialized with games of solids and voids, punctuated by numerous spaces hidden by door curtains or small trap doors.

 Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso

In parallel, a piece of furniture going through the front entrance of the house welcomes us, inviting us to sit down and take our shoes off before coming in. This piece goes up to the living room wall, facing the central block. This pathway made of wood throughout conceals numerous Hi-Fi storage units.

In front of it, a line develops along the wall, on each side of the stove, with on one side a bench seat with integrated storage for parents, welcoming relaxation, and on the other, toys storage for children to play with. The whole is topped by large shelves, as a ribbon unrolling on the wall, sheltering books, and subdued lighting.

 Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso

The mezzanine net becomes, depending on the time of day, a space for children to play, a place to relax in family, or a movie room. Bordering the net, along the wall, a wooden strip inhabits the residual space under the slope, offering a number of storages, and integrating a video projector and home cinema, concealed behind sliding doors once the showing is over. This strip continues on the next wall with a different shape, where the structure of the net is wrapped by wood and allows for a sequence of tiny trap doors, with some more storage spaces.

Like a theatrical production, the light falls onto the walls and the furniture, as such creating a warm atmosphere throughout the day, making these spaces pleasant and soothing. The result is a true call for relaxation in this area, where everybody finds their own space without cluttering the available space.

 Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso Around the Net, Courdimanche, France / Martins Afonso