The way our spaces are designed can go a long way in helping us find that harmony between work and leisure. For some, it means combining both into one space and using clever transformer tricks to alternate between the two; for others, it means taking both on the road in a converted vehicle that acts as a hybrid live/work space.
For Czech architect Petr Stolín, it means separating the two into their own realms. Seen over at Designboom, Stolín's Zen Houses are inspired by the simplicity of Japanese design, and by a "deliberate austerity" that distinguishes two 9.8-foot-wide volumes. One is designated for living, the other for working -- both are expressed with a pared-down palette of materials, including chipboard, wooden beams, plywood, raw metal and rubber, and all clad in transparent acrylic panels.
The work space has been coloured completely in a clean white, and in contrast, the living volume is themed in restful black. Both have mezzanines which increase the available floor area without detracting too much from that overall sense of openness.
The large windows provide a visual connection between the two spaces, and are physically linked by a wooden deck that bridges them, and also marking a outdoor space for lounging.
This serene, functional design presents an compelling approach to finding inspiration and balance to work and play. Work can be done in a space all its own, which is bound to generate more focus and productivity than if it were muddied with the cycles of sleeping, eating and rest. Likewise, one tends to rest better when out of the mental pull of thinking about work. To see more images, visit Designboom and Petr Stolín.