Wu Cars Residence – Bookshelf Detail

  • Meg

    I will miss in detail but I bet there’s something interesting to replace it next week!

    All the talk about building things into walls reminds me of an apartment I lived in in Japan which had storage the length of each corridor. I also remembered a house in a book called ‘Prefab’ by Allison Arieff and Bryan Burkhart which had a house by Shigeru Ban which they dubbbed the ‘Furniture House’ because of the fact that each wall also had a furnishing function – mainly storage. I’ve attached a few photos. The quality of the photo is awful (apologies). The plywood pieces are all cupboards.


  • John Brown

    Good point about Japanese houses. The pressure to “live small” has resulted in the development of some very innovative built in storage strategies (as well as a lot of other important ideas). I have even seen some developer built housing in which the structural space inside the floor was used as storage, accessed from a removable floor panel.

  • Paul C

    I share Meg’s comment, I too will miss the in detail segment. It helped demonstrate and emphasize the difference between “hand rolled” and “cookie cutter”. In my humble opinion so much of these great designs rely on, in particular, the millwork details. Great examples of integrated bookcases in this one. I look forward to the return of the in detail in the fall as well as the new segments coming next week.

  • Paul C

    Just a thought and a suggestion, would it be possible, going forward, to include in the Part 2’s of the “Design Project” segment a small portion, maybe at the tail end, that hi-lites details?

  • Louis Pereira

    Quote – “I have even seen some developer built housing in which the structural space inside the floor was used as storage, accessed from a removable floor panel – John Brown”

    John – I’ve been considering this detail for a residential project. Do you have any photos of this idea that you can share in this segment?…

  • Paul C

    I can help with that as well. Here’s an example, maybe not the best, but it depicts the concept. I have seen this approach done a little differently as well whereby “drawers” if you will, are linked together, placed within the joist space, on drawer glides. A single access hatch is provided and the user “scrolls” through the individual drawers. It can be pretty slick. You do have to be careful not to make the drawer train too long or too deep as it can get a little heavy to say pull four full drawers and you don’t want to jam stuff up underneath the subfloor. Real hard to get out.


  • CL

    Although I’m not a very “vocal” participant, I’m on your site everyday before breakfast and then again later on to view all the comments… I am really enjoying it and I am learning lots. I’ve enjoyed in Detail because it helps me visualize ideas that otherwise wouldn’t register with me on a 2 dimensional floor plan. I will miss this segment but I’m sure that you will be replacing it with some other wonderfull session. Thank you.

  • Louis Pereira

    Paul – Eureka! I did something similar (ie. hatch-like level with floor but as a laundry chute. If we were to do something like you’ve shown, i can see where this would work for something like shoes near an entry.

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    We once owned a home that had hinged stair treads so that you could store items under some portions of the stairs. There was also a closet accessable from the room below the stairs. So this was kind of double duty.

  • Brad W

    Acme under floor storage systems might be a little out there for me but I do like the various standalone and builtin wall storage systems that are shown in the project catalog and have been proposed in the design projects. Whether the sapce is small or large, these items provide storage, display and definition to a space. But the real benefit is that properly designed they provide a focal point which adds texture, interest and character to a space. A worthwhile investment, which as Paul C pointed out, is a difference maker.

    I would also add that many of the modern designs which incorporate flat panel design are often very difficult to impelement and install. Unlike, more ornate millwork, flat panels provide no opportunity to trick the eye or compensate for poor site conditions. Think about constructing a home without trim. Now think about installing a modern strongly horizontal millwork element where the floor is out of level.

  • Paul C

    Another great example, attached are other twists on that one. Louis, if you want to find other ingenious methods of accommodating storage, the transporting industries (boating, rv, airplane) might have some neat surprises.


  • Richard Robinson

    One of my favourite spaces is this loft in Plaza Mayor, Madrid by Manuel Ocaña del Valle. Here the study (5) and bedroom (4) visually share space but are acoustically separated by fixed frameless glass panels. For privacy, a curtain on the bedroom side can be drawn.

    Given the narrowness and length of the hall in the Wu Cars residence, this might be a solution to brightening the hall while preserving the quietness of the study.


  • James Scott

    I like the idea of the under floor storage for shoes near the entrance (unfortunately I have visions of the skunk we have living under our deck). I also like the use of shoe benches which seem to be catching some favour in NA. I added an image from aikomei.com as an example. Browsing the internet I also came across a similar use for stairs from Vogue Living Australia.

    There is plenty of talk of the use for built-in cabinetry throughout the home. There are also many examples over the years where the crafty types have bought ready made furniture and converted them into built-ins with just a little trim and elbow grease.

    I too look forward to the new sessions, actually very excited!!!


  • John Brown

    Sorry I wasn’t able to participate in the conversation yesterday. Great comments and examples on hidden storage. Really useful and informative. It is good to see In Detail go on the shelf on a high note. Don’t worry, we are going to bring In Detail and Case Study back every once in awhile to keep things interesting.

    Although Paul answered your question, here is the image that prompted my response. It was sent to me by Bruno Natal, the Director General of the Association Provinciale des Constructeurs D’habitation du Québec. He took the image while in a model home in Japan.