July 12, 2009

h2o architectes: Ceci N'est Pas Un Loftbed

You may know h2o architectes from such elaborately minimalist children's indulgences inserted into historical buildings as that insane, EUR75,000, 4-level birch ply buildout of that abandoned garden shed for that suburban Paris teenager.


Well, they're at it again. A young family in the 10th arrondissement--or as I like to call it, Downtown Paris--was expecting a second kid, so they brought in h2o to, err, how you say, "generate a concentrated typology of spaces and situations in perpetual renewal...which suggests many possibilities for appropriation." Or as I like to call it, a built-in loft bed.


Yes, it looks fantastic, and yes, there's enough hidden storage capacity to make me sing the Marseillaise on the 4th of July. And it certainly occupies and defines the space more coherently than any comparable off-the-shelf bunk bed/loft bed product.

But it's also got a pretty limited lifespan. Where's le p'tit going to sleep when he outgrows the crib? Do you just keep him tucked in back under his Mr. Bricolage shelves while his big sister Eva reigns supreme in her concentrated typological castle?

Meanwhile, a couple of things stand out from the photos: first off, with the wide-angle lens, that crib looks about ten feet long. In fact, we know it's probably only 120cm. Going by the loft bed mattress dimensions, the structure's only about 140cm deep and 3m long in what's probably only a 3.5x3.5m room.

Second, unless Eva just has short hair, the kid in the photos could be a prop. [In fact, the kid bears a striking resemblance to thelittle prop kid in the teenager garden hideout photos from last year. Wait, and why was that kid wearing a Hello Kitty sweatshirt?]

And finally, unless it's all the photostylist's own clutter, it should be a hilarious relief to know that Parisian parents who hire nursery architects from freakin' Wallpaper* Magazine still can't avoid Dora and My Pretty Pony obsessions. Also, what is that hideous-looking pink stool in the top photo? The one that was so bad, the photographer felt compelled to replace it with a non-functional wooden number for the reverse shot?


for schematics and lots more Stephane Chalmeau photos: Eva's bed by h2o architectes [dezeen, and this one definitely did come via minor details]


What I'm freaking about is the crib right next to the radiator and right beneath all those shelves perfect to climb on and then fall off of. This does not look child safe at all.

ooh, that's a mighty paddy-strappy-stringy crib. C'est le mort!

And also there are all those head-height sharp corners. C'est la headgear!

Those are some really fantastic designs.

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