First Office

Murphy House

We have all heard the story of Louis XIV: first he built his bed, then the palace around the bed, then the gardens around the palace, and all of France around Versailles. Here is a similar experiment on a far smaller scale. The bed in this scenario is a Murphy Bed; the room is designed around it, then the house around the room. The Murphy Bed has a wonderful capacity to fold up vertically to save livable space during the daytime. Functionally, in this position it is put away and not in use. But technically, in its vertical orientation it disrupts our preconceived notion of the floor's location. In fact, the Murphy Bed always produces two floors in a room, one horizontal and one vertical. And since this is the case, the room's decorative and programmatic elements were designed in relationship to two floors, not one. The device that makes this argument possible is the developed room drawing. By unfolding all interior elevations of the house in relationship to the horizontal floor but designing them in relationship to the vertical floor, the newly folded volume presents several problems. The elements in a room that are normally singular and directional--such as entry, structure, relationship to the ground, direction of molding and conduit, and material finish--are doubled, turned, or folded out.