Thursday, 24 November 2016

Redefining City Living: Susan Fitzgerald's 'Live/Work/Play

by Zita Edwards

Live/Work/ Play is one of the most recent projects from architect Susan Fitzgerald. This project cannot be simply defined as a residential plot or workplace, but simply a private space. The focus of the project is on the design of the layout and how individual spaces interact. Housing is generally quite inflexible in terms of structurally altering rooms when our circumstances or preferences change, creating problems which then mean people have no choice but to move house. Fitzgerald’s concept separates yet combines work space and her home. With separate entrances to each section of the house, she can fully focus on her business without having to travel far from home.

Her work may be criticized however since she may be bringing the workplace too close to home. Some may find it unprofessional to perhaps hold meetings at what is technically your own house, or psychologically she may not be as motivated to work if she knows it is so easy to go see her family at home. Whilst economically efficient to travel less and use less office space in business hotspots, it may be an inconvenience to her business.

This project has been featured on Architizer’s website and, whilst did not win any awards at their recent event, is my personal favourite work by far under residential and multi unit housing. Whilst looking through the A+Awards Shortlist there are so many original ideas from temporary pavilions, to interiors, concert halls and industrial buildings from all over the world, each pivotal in future design. 

The residential section of her house also slightly cantilevers over the entrance, giving the family as much privacy as they need, and by connecting sections with a bridge and clearly separating areas with separate functions, she has created a more stimulating environment, key to living on such a small plot in the city. Halifax, Canada is generally known for its long Victorian plots and she has harnessed every inch of space in creating a long structure with rooftop gardens. 

For her family and her children it will redefine city living as they are not trapped in a small cramped room; their home is flooded with light, plants and long corridors and wide open spaces.

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