Transforming plywood walls add rooms & service to Geneva home

When a family of five in Geneva were looking to turn two large basement rooms into four, including a bedroom for their au pair, they called on local architect Aurélie Monet Kasisi who used plywood partitions to add a lot of functionality.

Before the remodel, one of the rooms served as a home office by day and a bedroom for the family’s au pair by night. Monet Kasisi designed a wall of pine ply to separate the two spaces: on one side it serves as shelving for mom Sophie’s extensive book and bric-a-brac collection.

The wall contains a small door and on the reverse side, a fold-down secretary-desk, both hidden by the perfectly-continuous grain of the plywood. A second wall in the au pair’s room hold’s floor to ceiling storage, including a closet.

The second large pre-remodel room served as TV room and kids’ playroom. Again, Monet Kasisi created another wooden partition wall to house a large CD collection, as well as a projector and audio system to create a home cinema. There’s also a bed made of recycled pallets that opens for guests.

On the other side of the TV room through a very small plywood door (sized for small children) is the private playroom for the family’s three, young children. One small porthole in the wall provides opportunity for Sophie to keep an eye on the kids.

With leftover wood, Monet Kasisi created some small pieces of furniture for the rooms: nightstands, storage boxes and a podium for the kids.

Aurélie Monet Kasisi:
Carpenters (Atelier Fabien Pont):
Photo credit: Yann Laubscher

Original story:

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  1. TheDtfamu89
    October 31, 2016

    I just don't find the plywood aesthetically pleasing.

  2. Jay Scott ANDERSON
    October 31, 2016

    9:11 I don't get the door construction detail they're talking about. Are they skinning a solid wood frame with 1/8" plywood? And what are those wood strips…biscuit looking things?

  3. jazzepink
    November 1, 2016

    finally, a black person.

  4. Living In A Van
    November 1, 2016

    Seems like a simple and effective solution, but a little bit of paint would probably make the rooms seem more finished.

  5. MrDmitriP
    November 2, 2016

    Communal apartment

  6. Samuel Carreira
    November 2, 2016

    That rounded door 🙁
    Not a coherent design and without any frame it's poorly isolated ( noise and thermally )

  7. Edi2003
    November 3, 2016

    17 minutes of opening and closing the same doors over and over. It's not that complicated.

  8. Edgar Harton
    November 3, 2016

    On dirait que la jeune femme aux cheveux attachés à un accent québécois 😉

  9. Sue Moseley
    November 4, 2016

    I want to do this. I couldn't see screws or joints like dovetail etc anywhere. Is the wood held together with dowels and glue?

  10. Quanswiese
    November 11, 2016

    I thought one of the main advantages of plywood is that it does not warp!?

  11. Sauvage Million
    November 12, 2016

    I liked this, then an obviously personal moment happened "on set" and things started feeling a bit awkward. Great otherwise.

  12. PreyForForgiveness
    November 14, 2016

    can they at least paint over the wood? I'm seeing too many videos with the exposed wood and it looks out of place like it's still being built

  13. Aspiring
    November 21, 2016

    Great construction but it does not look good.
    For a place that has very small few window, keeping it open plan would make it less gloomy.
    Now the au pair's room looks like a cell. The children did not need a play room so they could have turned that into an office.
    The au pair would have had a nicer less claustrophobic space.
    And where does the au pair keep her belongings? Why do the home owners keep stuff in her room?

  14. sucktastic
    December 12, 2016

    Feels claustrophobic.

  15. Hubabon Lak
    February 17, 2017

    I don't know about the house , but the black girl is so beautiful…

  16. Anne-Catherine Mulhern
    March 21, 2017

    Like it or not, the craftsmanship is beautiful. It could do with some more natural light though.

  17. Khryl Lim
    March 27, 2017

    the raw or whatever color or finish that is… imo doesnt work well for that space. it's okay for the open book/storage side but the other side doesnt appeal to me

  18. Simguy Simulation
    June 13, 2017

    the video is shaky at points and the constant cuts and angles are making me nauseous

  19. Lisa Kilmer
    June 14, 2017

    This is very interesting. The architect did a fantastic design. But I think the real praise needed to go to The Carpenters who executed it so meticulously! Even if one dislikes plywood (which seems to be a current fad), the design is really good. A couple of points — there appears to be no toilet in this basement for the poor au pair. And here in the US they could not legally house someone underground like that without windows large enough to get out in case of fire. Is Swiss zoning law that relaxed that they permit no exits?

  20. Commentator541
    June 20, 2017

    What would make this work is COLOR. All the wall's are white and there is little natural light and the result is a depressing space. If the walls were egg shell with RED or ORANGE or BIRGHT GREEN accents on the furniture, or even colored lighting the space would be much more welcoming.

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