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Depending on who you speak to, a “hole in the wall” could either refer to a drab, run-down spot or a term of affection, reserved only for their favourite, little-known joint. For our purposes, a hole in a wall is something slightly more literal — though it is definitely still a term of affection. This round-up showcases the design benefits of adding a hole in the wall, whether between rooms or toward the outdoors. 

Kitchen Pass-throughs

This micro Melbourne flat by architect Michael Roper is full of creative spatial solutions that allow it to maximise its floor plan and functionality. One such solution was to close up one kitchen doorway and replace it with a pass-through (or serving) window. This increased the useable footprint of the living room, allowing Roper to add a fold-out bed in that area, without totally closing off the kitchen, which would make it feel more cramped.

A similar idea was applied in this Paris apartment. After converting one of the terraces into a bedroom, architect Bertille Bordja left the existing window above the kitchen sink in place to allow natural light to pass between the two rooms. Bordja added shelving for small kitchen items within the frame to offer some added privacy for the bedroom.

Double Duty

Set in the Lycabettus Hill neighbourhood, this Athens apartment features a big, circular opening between the bedroom and living area. This key design element in the apartment mirrors the arches used in the kitchenette and allows the natural light from the atrium to reach the bedroom. Architects Chrysostomos Theodoropoulos and Eleni Livani of SOUTH cleverly made it functional by adding a sleek “floating” surface that serves as a desk and a vanity.

Also doubling down on the hole-in-the-wall’s functionality was Gonzalo Pardo of gon architects. In this Madrid apartment, an opening between the bedroom and living area serves as a passage for natural light and (in a stroke of genius) houses the ceiling-mounted projector, which can pivot for viewing from the comfort of the bedroom or the living room.

Portholes

Yes, the following three examples are all technically windows, but they perfectly illustrate how even the addition of a tiny porthole to the exterior can alter the feel of a space completely.

Described by Claudio Pierattelli, the owner and architect, as the “jewel” of this stylish Italian flat is the tiny window in the bedroom through which you can admire the dome of Florence’s Renaissance church of Santo Spirito across the way.

Hidden away in the attic sleeping loft of this eclectic Madrid apartment is a teeny-tiny triangular window. With red glass, the little hole is big in character, adding a warm glow and a welcome infusion of light into the space.

The architects of this small attic apartment in Lisbon — Eliza Borkowska, Magdalena Czapluk, and the team at KEMA studio — took advantage of all available space under the sloped roofs by creating two niches along the wall: one, a kitchenette; and the other, a seating area. Above the sofa, they added handmade brick tiles and a small window that brings in additional light and airflow along the entire back wall.

Using a Hole in the Wall in Design

A hole in the wall can be a unique and creative design element that transforms a space, adding character and functionality. When intentional and well-designed, a hole in the wall can be a captivating and functional element that transforms the dynamics of an interior space.

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