Hidden behind a bookcase in a secret space, a fireman’s pole provides a quickly escape route from the top floor of this Berlin house by local studio NOWlab .
Named Haus JJ, the two-storey apartment in Kreuzberg features two distinct routes between floors.
The very first and most prominent is a spiral staircase featuring colourful flooring and a rope balustrade, while the second is the fireman’s pole, tucked away in a corner.
NOWlab founder Jörg Petri planned this second route as a shortcut – providing an different to the slides that have featured within homes in New York, Tokyo and Jakarta.
“We desired to produce a rapidly and playful way to move from the fifth to fourth floor,” explained the architect.
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“It came up in the early discussions with the owners, but the preliminary thought was to develop a slide,” he advised Dezeen. “Sadly the floor prepare did not permit sufficient space so we had to compact the idea – the end result was a fireman’s pole.”
Rather than creating it a central function, the entrance to the pole is hidden in a room screened by a bookcase. It prospects straight down into the client’s property workplace.
“Right after some time the idea of the secret space came up and we integrated the pole in there, generating it possible to escape unseen,” explained Petri. “It creates an effective and straightforward-to-use circulation loop between the two floors.”
The apartment occupies a rooftop extension to an existing residential block, taking up the fourth and fifth floors.
The spiral staircase is positioned at the centre of the space, framed by the walls of the master bedroom.
Slender treads fan out about a central column, with wooden surfaces that match the herringbone patterning of the surrounding floors. These are coloured in vibrant shades of red, yellow, blue and green.
The intention was to reference an current “Brandwände”, or fire wall, in the centre of the developing and the urban foliage that grows across it.
“In the fall, this green wall produces an remarkable quantity of normal colour gradients and growth patterns,” said Petri. “We wished to produce something within the apartment to hyperlink to this certain and wonderful all-natural phenomena.”
There is no balustrade, but a rope hangs through the centre of the staircase to offer some thing to hold on the way down. There is also a skylight overhead.
“Due to the tiny floor plan, we also had to create a compact staircase,” stated Petri. “The rope was a great way to install a handrail without having reducing the room to considerably. It functions actually properly, for youngsters and adults!”
The house has entrances on the two floors. On the lower degree, the doorway leads by way of into a generous hallway, with the master bedroom and bathroom on the left, and the function area and children’s space on the appropriate.
Upstairs, the majority of the room is taken up by an open-strategy living, dining and kitchen space, which is partially screened from the entrance by a row of vertical wooden slats.
Other homes with uncommon ways of travelling amongst rooms incorporate a Japanese property featuring both climbing walls and ladders, and a model house where walls double as skateboarding ramps.
Floor strategies Segment Dezeen