Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Jay S. Lim, OAA, AIA, LEED AP
2 years after building their house, a young family needed some more space for needs of their growing children. The decision was made to renovate their unfinished basement to create a new space for both children and adults.
The most compelling feature upon entering the basement is the Playpod. The 100 sq.ft structure is both playful and practical. It functions as a hideaway for the family’s young children who use their imagination to transform the space into everything from an ice cream truck to a space ship. Storage is provided for toys and books, brining order to the chaos of everyday playing. The interior is lined with plywood to provide a warm but robust finish. In contrast, the exterior is clad with reclaimed pine floor boards left over from the original house. The black stained pine helps the Playpod stand out while simultaneously enabling the character of the aged wood to be revealed. The orange apertures create ‘moments’ for the children to peer out to the world while also enabling parents to keep an eye on the fun. The Playpod’s unique form and compact size is scaled for small children but is designed to stimulate big imagination. And putting the FUN in FUNctional.
The layout of the basement is organized to separate private and public areas from each other. The office/guest room is tucked away from the media room to offer a tranquil environment for visitors. The new four piece bathroom serves the entire basement but can be annexed off by a set of pocket doors to provide a private ensuite for guests.
The media room is open and bright making it inviting for the family to enjoy time together. Sitting adjacent to the Playpod, the media room provides a sophisticated place to entertain guests while the children can enjoy their own space close by. The laundry room and small home gym are situated in behind the stairs. They work symbiotically allowing the homeowners to put in a quick workout while waiting for the clothes to dry. After the workout gym towels can quickly be exchanged for fluffy new ones thanks to the ample storage solutions customized for the homeowners.