With color contrasts and surprising design details, this fully renovated old apartment is located in Madrid, Spain, showcasing a welcoming floor plan distribution. Impeccable aesthetics and unique decor are the foundation for this fun and inviting apartment. However this house can be found to be much more than just a pretty face. This small apartment of only 968 square feet (90 square meters) is situated in a building that was build in the twenties. It had a very compartentalized distribution to the spaces within the building footprint. However it had amazing high ceilings and an excellent location being in the central district of Madrid. The owners purchased this home and commissioned interiors studio Dimensi-on to complete the project. They designed a novel and practical layout and finishing up with beautiful new decor.
One key element to the project was to create a separate common area by a wall. Now the living area has access to the master bedroom, walk-in closet and integrated bathroom. On the other side of the wall is an open plan dining room and kitchen with a beautiful design aesthetic that breaks the image of a traditional kitchen.
In the dining room there is a surprising optical effect that has been created with mirrors, a circular neon wall mixed with retro accents.
The bedroom decor showcases some surprises such as wallpaper that focuses attention with its sharp contrasts. The bathroom offers luxury sinks that bring a high level of decorative detail to this amazing apartment.
Photos: Courtesy of Mi Casa
Trama Apartment was recently designed for a young couple in a natural and neutral color scheme by Semerene Interior Architecture, located in Brasilia, Brazil. The apartment is comprised of 753 square feet of living space with contemporary interiors and a unique design plan that meets the needs of its owners.
Description from the architect:
The apartment of 70 square meters (753 square feet), located in a newly built building in a new district of Brasilia, was designed for a young couple. Originally, the property was distributed into well-defined environments, including living room, kitchen, laundry area, two bedrooms and a toilet in the social area.
The new design should address the residents’ needs for fluid multipurpose spaces and at the same time, should translate into the lifestyle and emotional references of the couple. Thus, priority was given to free areas, integrated and multi-functional, adaptable to different scenarios of everyday life.
Upon entering the apartment, the barriers between TV room, dining room, kitchen and service area, dissolve from a permeable central layout. The metal frame unfolds in different roles: bookshelf partition, desk, and dinner table. An element that embraces the kitchen island and becomes the heart of the project.
The kitchen and the service area had their functions reduced to the essentials and brought together in one volume arranged linearly. The service area is easily camouflaged and converted into a background panel to the dining room.
The desk acts as a reversible environment through sliding panels, and can open up to the living room to fuse with other environments, or remain closed for more privacy.
We chose neutral and natural materials such as concrete and wood. The central metallic element brings an industrial character, typical of large cities, which contrasts with the vibrant colors present in objects, furniture and walls of the living room. The result is the freshness of an urban beach, so present in the memory of the residents.
Photos: Joana França
Garçonnière Marais is a contemporary bachelor pad showcasing bright and airy interiors, designed by interior architect Tatiana Nicol, located in Paris, France. Situated in the heart of Paris, this friendly apartment home features 538 square feet (50 square meters) of living space where practicality marries originality and beauty.
Description from the designer: The private rooms are ultra cozy and functional with storage optimized, taking advantage of the high ceilings. As for the living room, volumes have been optimized by painting the wood ceiling beams a clay green. A custom open plan kitchen was beautifully crafted, as well as a library and realizing that it creates a passage to access the room.
An area rug is used in the living room over the hardwood flooring to delineate the space from the rest of the home and to create a welcoming and cozy living room environment.
Photos: Courtesy of Tatiana Nicol
High Loft is a family apartment showcasing a study in the play of urban light and views, designed by Bade Stageberg Cox, located in New York City, New York. The design integrates open and screened views of the city as the living ‘décor’ of the apartment interior.
Description from the architects: Our clients were interested in a space they could re-shape to meet the needs of their family of four. Several aspects of the building were appealing to them – the building’s history, its distinctive cast iron structure, and the volume of space afforded by the apartment’s 13-foot high ceilings. The design prioritizes views of the city, light and connectedness between spaces over private, compartmentalized rooms.
The living room occupies an apse at the corner of the building (highlighted on the building’s exterior with a golden dome) offering oblique views of the city. The living room furnishings reinforce the geometry of the space through a curved-back sofa, a spiraling pendant light fixture, and an octagonal carpet.
Custom metal shelves and perforated screens frame space and filter light, articulating discrete program areas while allowing the spaces to feel spacious and connected. The screens’ vertical elements are powder-coated steel to appear thin and weightless. The horizontal shelves are walnut to relate to the palette of flooring and custom cabinetry, and the perforated screens are a custom pattern that echo decorative motifs on the cast iron columns.
Faceted translucent glass screens operate in a similar way at the children’s bedrooms, allowing changing natural light into the bedroom hallway and producing a sense of a secondary exposure in the bedrooms while preserving their acoustic privacy.
Photos: Andy Ryan
Chinatown Loft is a small apartment renovation re-imagined by architecture firm Buro Koray Duman, located in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City. Comprised of 750 square feet, this lovely apartment showcases a bold, sculptural, open plan design.
Once a three bedroom dark renovation from the 1980’s is now a one bedroom plus one-and-a-half bath. The apartment is on the corner of the 5th floor of a tenement building overlooking Sarah Roosevelt Park.
The interior space is divided by a sculptural wave-like wall that houses the laundry, storage and the powder room. The tile in the powder room is bas-relief honey comb and the master bath is an all plate glass enclosure. Most of the walls are exposed brick that has been white-washed, and the flooring is oak.
The team preserved bits of history in the apartment such as leaving traces of vintage wall paper in the kitchen area. The project won the best of the year award for residential spaces in 2011.
Photos: Peter Murdoch
25 Green was designed by Luciano Pia as a residential steel structure appearing like a forest where trees are rooting in terraces, located in Torino, Italy. Built in 2012, the building has been thought as a living forest, a house on the trees like the houses children dream of and sometimes build. The property also features ponds which are crossed by footings and lush gardens covering the roofs.
The project comes from the necessity of making a residential building of 80,729 square feet (7500 square meters) to complement a block featured by lack of homogeneity and heterogeneous prospects. The aim of the project is both the construction of the block perimeter with a continuous facade and the making of a filter between the internal inhabited space and the streets. The project wants to create a flowing and smooth transition space to soften the passage from the inside to the outside where the space is always enjoyable. The smooth and changeable transition is emphasized by a targeted use of the green and the building materials so to create a structure which is compact and distinct but also transparent, mutable and enjoyable.
It is a special building because it is alive: it grows up, it breaths and it changes since 150 trees with tall trunks cover its terraces. Together with 50 trees planted in the court garden they produce oxygen, absorb carbonic anhydride, cut down air pollution, protect from noise, follow the natural cycle of Seasons, grow up day after day and create a perfect microclimate inside the building so diminuishing the fall and rise in temperature in summertime and wintertime.
The streeps in solid wood that floor the terraces filter the sunlight in summer, while in winter they let the light break into the house. The wainscot in larch shingles is a sort of soft and vibrant surface. The metal structures look like trees and they “grow” from the groundfloor to the roof while holding up the wooden planking of the terraces: they become entwined with the vegetation to form a unique facade.
One of the aims of the project is the increase of the energetic efficiency and for this reason several integrated solutions have been adopted: continuous insulation, sun protection, heating and cooling systems which make use of the geothermal energy with heat pumps and recycling of the falling rain to water the green.
There are 63 residential units in the building and they are all different and fitted with wide terraces of irregular shapes that surround the trees. The last floor is covered with private green roofs.
The green is diversified: big vases on the terraces, court gardens, green walls and roof gardens just in front of the lofts.
In the vases there are trees or shrubs of different heights from 2.5 meters to 8 meters. Deciduous species have been planted to have sun irradiation in wintertime too. The choise of the species, even if diversified according to the different needs, has been made to grant a variety of leaves, colors and flowering.
When all the green is fully blooming it gives the feeling of living in a tree house. You can dream of a house or live in a dream!
Photos: Beppe Giardino
Y Duplex penthouse apartment received a complete overhaul to its interiors in 2014 by Pitsou Kedem Architects, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. The project was a small yet complex renovation that was an especially challenging project for the architects. The living space was comprised of 1,722 square feet (160 square meters), including 50 square meters of balcony space.
From the architects: How would it be possible to install meaning and architectural values to a roof top apartment in a “standard” uninspired design multi-story building located amongst a row of similar structures in one of Tel Aviv’s bourgeois neighborhoods
The apartment was designed to integrate with the architectural language and characteristics of other projects by the architectural firm and thus, using modern architectural values, it combines modern elements by using materials in their raw form: exposed concrete wall, iron stairs and furniture, a terrazzo floor, poured on-site and unpainted wood.
The space created by the new stairwell, divides the movement and the axis of the existing space in a way that creates a dramatic architectural cross section through the apartment, links the different levels and allows natural light to penetrate the building through glass skylights inserted into the roof of the upper floor. The new cross section creates a double space with transparent glass and a system of moveable wooden slats that makes it possible to create a view between the spaces or to allow privacy and natural light control.
The restraint and scale of the apartment design avoiding the use of gimmicks make it into a “timeless architecture”.
The raw materials and the attempt to create an architecture that was both unfashionable and timeless is complemented by the books and pieces of art hung throughout the apartment including works by the artist Guy Yanai.
Despite the fact that the apartments has a small area, the spaces feel large and spacious. The wide and open views out to the scenery and in between the neighberhood buildings create the feeling of a light and airy space. The border between the interior spaces and the balconies is almost totally blurred by a thin glass panel system. The use of the same flooring, purred terrazzo, both inside and outside also contributes to this feeling of continuity.
Photos: Amit Geron
Monoform Living project is a loft apartment turned into a living piece of art made from steel rods by PRODUCE Workshop, located in Novena, Singapore. The new 807 square foot (75 square meters) home was designed for Woon Tai Ho, art collector and critic, author, current Director for Media and Marketing of the National Gallery Singapore and former MediaCorp News CEO.
From the architect: Having given PRODUCE freedom to design the piece, they came up with a single piece of furniture made from steel rods that encompasses a bookshelf, a wardrobe, a table, a wine rack, and is also a sculpture.
It is the home of a distinguished gentleman and the space must be befitting of him. With that in mind, the design is then based on two conjectures – that a person’s living space should be a reflection of his character and values, and an expression of his sense of life; and that it is possible to grasp the ethos of a person from the art he enjoys.
The design begins with observing the art Woon collects, in particular the works of Jane Lee and Han Sai Por. Lee questions the idea of painting and challenges the congruence of painting. Her work is gestalt where the medium, the canvas, the form and the subject matter are a unified whole, and none of the elements can be removed or exchanged without destroying the artwork. Han’s drawings have free and unordered thin strokes accumulated to form a strong and powerful image. Her sculptures employ strong shapes and forms to address the fragility of nature and its destructions.
The design by PRODUCE embraces the essence of these two artists’ works to articulate a strong presence. Formally to express an existence that is greater than the sum of its part just like Lee’s works, and spatially to embody and celebrate that idea of existence like Han’s.
The result is a singular object (monoform), one piece of furniture that frames and connects all aspects of life in the 75 square meters loft apartment. It describes, fulfills and supports Woon’s form of living. The object is a bookshelf, a wardrobe, a table, a wine rack, and a sculpture.
This austerity embraces the imperfections of life. Like Han’s drawings, where the powerful form and shapes are complete with repetitive scribbles of thin irregular lines, the singular furniture is formed with a random alignment of thin steel rods confronting each space in the apartment.
Woon commented: “I am tired using artworks to show that I love art. I want to live in a space that is itself a piece of art. After my initial meetings with the guys, I know I can trust them. I decided to give them total freedom to come up with a creative space.”
The STRATA apartment (located at Novena, Singapore) is a single space interrupted by a monoform. It presents the necessary and essentials of living plainly and beautifully. It is the outcome when a client’s and a designer’s valuation of art are aligned.
Photos: Edward Hendricks, CI&A Photography