Hidden Spaces at Home

The hidden spaces at home always appear in the films. For example, when an actor/actress is looking for someone hidden in an ancient house, if not he is not at the basement, probably, you can find him in the study room where a wall behind the portrait painting could be switched and indicating a hidden passage to somewhere mysterious. This kind of hidden spaces inspired our imagination to fly farther away. A door always appears to be the key to enter a parallel world in fictitious works. In the 2001 American film Monsters, Inc, the monsters manage the doors in their company to scare sleeping kids. In The Shawshank Redemption and Prison Break, the actors dig tunnels underneath the ground to escape from prisons. Architecture never can limit our imagination.

In the houses where we live every day, there are also hidden spaces. For example, in the country house Masia Freixa of Terrassa (Constructed by the architect Lluís Muncunill i Parellada in 1896), on purpose of separate the public route and the private one, the architect designed a small gate beside the principal one. This gate was used by the kids and the servants to go directly to the second floor where their bedrooms located. What’s more, on the ground floor, the private was separated another time by two entire walls made of closets. They seem like wall-in closets just for storage whereas occasionally somewhere when you open some doors, you will find there are rooms behind. The original request from the clients of privacy in public spaces is satisfied in this subtle way.

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Another curious and discovery of Masia Freixa is a heating radiator with doors. We were surprised when the visiting guide told us that more than just to keep people warm, the heating was used for keep food warm as well when no microwave oven exists at that time.

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Whether in real daily life or in the cinematic imaginations, the spaces hidden at home are somewhere with double contexts. In this sense, we understand architecture not only as the tangible forms. Depends on our understanding of it, the unmeasurable and intangible space implies more poetic meanings to be discovered.

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