The idea of built-in furniture has always been fascinating to me.
Not only is it a space saver and/or a space divider, it assists in sculpting the space it resides within.
I believe the allure for this type of design element began for me in school when I would spend hours in the library studying the thickened walls of ancient buildings – these thickened wall is where niches and the like were carved. For instance, the Pantheon (below) was built with thickened walls – carved out by hidden voids and interior niches. This was done to alleviate the structural weight and mass of the building. On the interior, this carving sculpts the space, giving shadows interesting surfaces to play in and out of.
While we don’t build this way now, this type of construction, for me, can translate into built-in elements. Below are a few examples of spaces with built-in furniture that I think are quite cool. Imagine pouring liquid into the “plan” of each of these spaces, freezing the liquid and then carefully pulling the liquid out. The “void” that you would be holding would be just as interesting, if not more so then the space itself, yes?