House made of recycled precast garages

Until not long ago, precast concrete garages populated the apartment blocks in neighbourhoods built throughout Romania during the communist period. In addition to cars they sheltered a wide range of family belongings and activities. They were, in fact, an extension of the apartments.

Five of these modules were transported and stored on a plot of 500 m² on the outskirts of Bucharest. The project consisted in recovering and integrating these modules into a new reality: that of a house. Their position on the site and relationship with the enclosure wall aims to create a series of protected and linked outdoor spaces, which are projections of the interior. The various places and rooms of the house were installed in four of the five modules, while the fifth was lifted vertically in order to give intimacy and protect the centre, an inner courtyard.

In order to obtain a suitable height, the garages were raised on perimetral concrete frames that also act as foundations. The project aimed to preserve as many of the original recognisable characteristics of the garages resulting in a certain austerity in treating both the inside and the outside. By recovering the prefabricated modules and implicitly the contained space, the construction of the house has consumed fewer resources. A thick layer of insulation on the outside and a brick floor containing heating along with several windows, were the only elements that were added to what had already been produced in advance.