Curso First Certificate Exam



LECCION 22 - PAGINA 2   índice del curso   página anterior   página siguiente




ACTIVITY 141: Quickly read the article below and choose the most appropriate title from the menu. Then check the correct answer. Don't worry if there are some words you don't know: you should be able to get the general idea without needing to use your dictionary.

It's not much, but it's home. Francis Chan, a structural engineer, lives in Hampstead, north London, in a flat that's just 4ft wide by 21ft long. He loves it.

Peter Baynes, Chan's architect, has achieved a brilliant piece of design, according to architectural experts. And all the comforts of conventional luxury homes are built in.

The Chan mini-mansion - "You could call it linear living," he comments - occupies what was once an alleyway down the side of a big Victorian house. Not an inch of space is wasted.

When you step in through the front door, you're standing in the shower, on Britain's only self-cleansing doormat. A door opens on to an equally tiny lavatory with washbasin. Two steps further in comes the kitchen, complete with full-sized cooker and fridge, microwave and washer/drier. A worktop folds down from the wall.

Another step and you're into the dining/office area. Four people can squeeze in here for dinner, says Chan as he swings the table-top into place. He even has a fold-down drawing-board for when he's working at home. The bed is hidden beneath a lid right at the back. "I don't even have to make the bed," Chan comments. "I just put the lid down."

Storage is ingeniously tucked in all along the flat - Chan's business suits hang neatly on the wall over the bed. Daylight comes in through rooflights. Central heating consists of one electric convector - with the meter outside so that bulky meter readers don't have to shoulder their way in. It feels like a very small boat and Chan admits he toyed with the idea of naming it the "boat-house".

Chan bought the big house next door -divided into three flats- three years ago. He and Baynes started to restore it but Chan ran short of money, which put paid to his plan to live in the ground floor flat himself.

His idea to build a mini-office to replace the existing lean-to shed in the alley was rapidly modified. It became his home instead.

"Peter spent more time designing this tiny flat than he did on the whole of the rest of the house," recalled Chan. "It cost around £4,700 to build last year. Now it's been valued at £30,000. It proves that good design doesn't need to cost more. It just needs a lot of care."

Chan's microscopic home has been taken up by the influential Architect's Journal. Its editor, Peter Carolin, recently appointed Professor of Architecture at Cambridge University, said: "This is an excellent solution to a very unusual problem. It's very modest and completely appropriate - it's even witty. Francis Chan must be a very tidy man and Baynes must be very talented. It's the kind of solution a really good architect can come up with."

However, in Britain his home does not quite beat the celebrated Kightsbridge Broom Cupboard, an 11ft by 6ft one-bed flat which was sold for £36,000 in the eighties.


ACTIVITY 142: Finally, read carefully the text once again and find the answers to these questions about Francis Chan's home. Write answers #1 to #9 in the blank spaces and tick one of the alternatives in answer #10. Then check the answers.


What is an alleyway? (personal question)


How big is the flat?


Where is it positioned?


Where's the shower?


How many people can be invited to dinner at the same time?


Where's the bed?


Why did Francis Chan decide to live in a home like this?


How much did the flat cost to build?


What does the editor of the 'Architect's Journal' think of the flat?


Who do you think this article was written for?

 professional architects
 people interested in Do-It-Yourself
 people buying their first home
  the general reader

Qué arquitectura más extravagante !!! 
En la próxima página Mr. Grammar explicará los ADJETIVOS y SUSTANTIVOS COMPUESTOS ...


LECCION 22 - PAGINA 2   índice del curso   página anterior   página siguiente