Spanish architects Anna & Eugeni Bach have renovated an aging flat in Barcelona, Spain’s Ensanche district to show off its mosaic floors and decorative ceiling mouldings. This project changes the manner of inhabiting an apartment in this neighborhood through small and very specific operations that make the most of every corner as if dealing with a jigsaw puzzle and giving over the protagonist role to the existing elements, conserving, reusing or modifying them in order to create new spaces that seem to always have been like this.
The project consisted of the integral reforms of a dwelling in Barcelona´s Ensanche district that dates from the year 1910 and had never undergone any substantial modification in its 100 years of history. The state of the 1,399 square foot (130 square meters) flat, however, was deplorable, as its previous occupier suffered form compulsive hoarding syndrome and had accumulated all kinds of waste, leaving many of its elements in very poor condition. The ceilings (with magnificent rosettes and mouldings) and the floors (hydraulic paving made from small ceramic pieces) had been conserved relatively well, as was the case with some of the original joinery.
The starting point therefore consisted of conserving a layout that would permit the suite comprising the magnificent existing ceilings and floors to be maintained, concentrating any necessary changes required by the new program on the spaces that did not possess such characteristics.
In order to meet this objective the work was done room by room in an attempt in each case to adapt the new program to the rooms defined by ceilings and floors, recessing wardrobes or shifting partitions without modifying the limit of the rooms so that they would gain in functionality without losing their original limits. All the joinery has been conserved in either its original position or by shifting it to new rooms opened up in the flat´s “interior” volume, always respecting the original position of the floors and windows giving on the patio.
The generous height of this flat has been made use of to raise the floor of the en-suite bathroom by 60 cm, making room in a single space for the bath underneath the shower as well as a very useful storeroom-pantry underneath the floor, accessible from the corridor and next to the kitchen. This raising of the bathroom also means that in order to access it three steps have to be climbed from the bedroom, giving the flat a greater feeling of “domesticity” by introducing an element that is more typical of a detached family house than of a single-story flat.
Photos: Courtesy of Anna & Eugeni Bach
The Konstancin House is a contemporary single family home that has been designed by Nasciturus Design, situated in the town of Konstancin-Jeziorna, nearby Warsaw, Poland. The project was designed for a family of four, comprised of 3,767 square feet (350 square meters) of living space. The clients gave the architects a free hand in arranging the interior providing some hints like color preferences and a general vision. They wanted their apartment to be spacious, impressive and one of a kind. Although it was expected to be arranged in a contemporary style, the owners also value a timeless classic.
The ground floor is mainly used for integrating the household as they have a common space to spend time together. The ‘Brunner’ fireplace perfectly attracts long conversations in a pleasant ambiance. A large 3meter glass slab used as a handrail makes the space even more visually appealing. It is not only a remarkably elegant solution but it also enlarges the space. Worth mentioning is also a ‘Fly’ Vibieffe sofa making the living room couched in comfort.
The kitchen is finished in a black and white polished MDF. The working table is a natural graphite board perfectly matching the lockers. We also have managed to add a little bit of lightness by hanging the cupboards above the floor.
Next, there is the dinning room decorated in a balanced contrast of dark and light colors corresponding the rest of the house. The main component is a magnificent ‘Cedros’ dark table ideal for a sophisticated meals and the original and soft chairs ensure a full comfort thought the whole evening.
In the bedroom you will find classic wallpapers, subtle textiles and warm colors that will make you sleep tight. The delicate lighting is making the room all the more welcoming and a large window overlooking the garden guarantees a beautiful view from the very begging of your day.
A roomy and practical bathroom is crucial. To achieve that the project sets up full functionality along with a luxury look. On the over 20m2 there is literally everything you need. The marvelous mosaic and a free standing bathtub makes the bathroom outstandingly unique.
Photos: Courtesy of Nasciturus Design
This charming and cozy Scandinavian style apartment is a private home that has been designed by Soma Architekci, situated in Warsaw, Poland. This modern apartment offers 1,400 square feet of living space, located in a housing facility nearby the Szczęśliwicki Park. An initial projection of the apartment design was met with challenges due to an inconvenient C-letter passageway with a long corridor leading into the bedroom section, as well as the request for an additional, fifth room. However, the architects managed to rearrange the existing structure efficiently and establish a comfortable, functional plan that responds to the needs of future dwellers.
The interior includes a cozy daytime area with a living room and kitchenette, a corridor with a large number of wardrobes and compartments, and four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The design is based upon a light flooring of wide, whitened oak panels and the ubiquitous whiteness of the walls.
This background is accompanied by custom furniture and lamps characteristic of design from the North, featuring substantial amounts of wood, simple brick tiles, and minimalist bulbs. The interior is softened by some dark, graphic elements, including picture frames, mirrors, and the steel lines of the furniture.
The look is complete through the abundant light that enters the apartment from three sides, which the residents did not want to obscure, except for basic nighttime shades in the bedrooms. Despite its stark white style, the living area has a comfortable feel and reflects a warm, inviting ambiance.
Photos: Courtesy of Soma Architekci
Turett Collaborative Architects have sent us images of their latest project, a Manhattan, New York Penthouse, sitting fifty four floors high, with the Statue of Liberty, the horizon over Long Island and the whole of Central Park in view. The clients had a vision of the space, requesting clean design, a layout maximizing panoramic views, and the celebration of an exclusive collection of Asian art. This penthouse renovation came equipped with a unique challenge for the clients. They were moving out of a suburban estate that was almost four times as large as this 5,000 square foot penthouse. Therefore, the design had to go beyond aesthetics and maximize every square inch, incorporating amenities that would typically be found in much grandeur homes.
Penthouse architecture demands unique consideration. A sense of openness and comfort are optimized not only by careful attention to layout, but also through the blending of materials and textures.
New room partitions were crafted of concrete with wood-grain textures. High-gloss ceilings and lacquer panel walls extend the impact of the floor-to-ceiling windows. A glass enclosed study provides acoustic separation with no interruption of the view. Stainless steel wall insets serve as ideal displays for South Asian sculpture.
To maintain the clean, unbroken lines, heightened attention to finish included camouflaged electrical outlets and concealed sound systems, detailed indirect lighting, and self-closing pocket doors. State-of-the-art audio-visual systems are concealed behind nearly invisible doors.
Plentiful pantry, storage, and closet space keeps clutter to a minimum, and tucked-away amenities abound: the mirror in the master bath is two-way, concealing a television behind; the wine refrigerator and water cooler disappear behind custom cabinetry and wall panels.
Kitchen cabinets are faced in back-painted glass. Other rooms feature meticulously selected and matched stone slabs, custom wood veneers, and linen wall coverings. And a final touch that only a penthouse can enjoy: skylights (with both sun-shades and black-out shades) in the foyer and den further flood the home with natural light.
Photos: Travis Dubreuil
This recently completed mixed-use project is a five storey brick clad building marking the corner of Orsman Road and Whitmore Road, designed by Trevor Horne Architects in London, England. The mixed-use scheme houses studios for artists and architects on the ground and first floors, with three floors of spacious residential apartments sitting above. It is a simple framed structure reflecting the neighbouring warehouse buildings. A concrete Cobiax system allows for large spanning floor slabs with few internal columns, giving great flexibility for layouts.
There are six generous apartments, each with 3m high ceilings and ample living areas. Some materials expressed in the spaces are exposed concrete soffits, waxed oak flooring and basalt stone. The building has a tripartite composition of base, middle and top. Its volume is sculpted to respond to its urban location, marking the corner at its highest points, with balconies cut into the mass, lining through with neighboring cornices and stepping down to form a private courtyard to its two storey neighbor.
Photos: Courtesy of Trevor Horne Architects
This Loft Apartment renovation centered on a built-in library was designed by architect Alex Bykov, situated in the heart of Kiev, Ukraine’s historical district. The apartment only has two doors separating rooms, as each space flows into the next in a looping arrangement. “The concept of movement appears through the spatial design areas such as the bedroom, the lounge, the library and the bathroom surrounding the kitchen – the historical symbol of the family’s heart,” states the architect.
From the architect: Usually they say that the successful interior is a beneficial combination of environmentally friendly contemporary decorative materials, design furniture, sanitary equipment and home appliances. Nevertheless, the interior of an apartment located in the heart of Kiev’s historical district has a much more valuable treasure – an idea.
A young creative couple had been looking for an architect, when their designer friend recommended them Alex Bykov. The couple was preparing for a wedding and decided to spend their honeymoon in the renewed apartment.
After a fruitful discussion of suggestions and proposals the concept of “constant motion” was born. Furthermore the concept became the main vector of planning design and stylistic solutions of the interior.
The concept of movement appears through spacial design areas such as the bedroom, the lounge, the library and the bathroom surrounding the kitchen, the historical symbol of the “family’s heart”. So you can move from one room to another in an uninterrupted circle, since the spaces flow smoothly into each other.
The windows face to the south-east side ,which is why the living room and the bedroom are filled with an early morning’s golden shine. The interior has a cosy warm colouring due to the pastel brick walls, the natural texture of wood and soft furniture.
During the process of dismantling it was discovered that the doorways had previously been blocked. Alex decided to shift the doorways by using the original bricks with an authentic early 20th century mark. The brick was bought from junkmen and carefully laid into the living room wall.
The built-in library – a primary wish of the couple, was designed to house the family library. The library has a podium, which was designed to provide more space for storage. It was decided to make two types of shelves for the library; thus this flexible solution gives an opportunity to change the geometric pattern of shelves in the future.
Alex also designed all the furniture and prepared individual work drawings. The woodwork was made from low cost materials. Artificial lighting is dim, warm and comfortable.
Decorative lamps are by Ukrainian designers Anna Popovych and Vasyliy Butenko; the ceiling lamps, which were presented to the newly-weds by close friends as a wedding gift, are by ‘Artemide’.
Bespoke wrought-iron products also immediately grab attention: the legs for the coffee and dining tables, a mirror in the bedroom, a sleeve for the kitchen hood and a window.
Photos: Courtesy of Alex Bykov
Bermondsey Warehouse Loft is situated in an industrial building that was formerly used as a tin and zinc factory, completely refitted by FORM Design Architecture in Bermondsey, a district in south London, United Kingdom. The industrial character and scale had previously been lost beneath raised floors, lowered ceilings and partitions in this 1,119 square foot (110 square meters loft).
Storage, bathroom & utility functions are contained within a sharply-detailed block ‘parked’ in the corner of the now fully revealed Loft space, with a similarly detailed linear kitchen counter block. A concealed sliding wall allows the sleeping area to be enclosed if required. At the other end, a full width counter provides a work area for the photographer owner. In between are flexible zones for dining, relaxing and exercise.
Apart from the unfinished floorboards, all surfaces are finished in white, the crisp machine-made quality of the solid acrylic blocks setting them apart from the more hand-made and time-weathered surface textures of the original industrial building. Surface finishes within the service block are in dark grey, accenting the idea of a fruit or jewel-case-like object with a smooth exterior skin contrasting with a darker, sensual core.
Apartment Bulevardi 1 was once home to a bank and then an insurance company, transformed by Saukkonen + Partners in Helsinki, Finland. One of the first and biggest challenges associated with the conversion was to remove the thick steel door in the former bank vault, so the apartment could be a contemporary home for a couple in their late 30s with busy careers. “We had to cut it up into small pieces so we could get it out. It was hard work. So big that we were considering letting it sit and use it actively in the interior design. But it would have a great look down the hall to the couple’s library, which is located in the former bank vault,” explains the architect responsible for the renovation.
Scandinavian tradition was a term that fell into place well with the image the owners had of their future home. Both worked long hours and they wanted a home where the basic functions are excellent, but not out of range. Therefore, the 2,368 square foot (220 square meters) apartment was designed with just a single bedroom and toilet/bath (with sauna, of course – we are well in Finland), while on the other hand, the space was used to make accommodations that reflect the owners’ interests in the form of library, a functional kitchen, a large living room and, not least, a smoking room for the man. Here he can enjoy a cigar and be sure that the strong ventilation shall ensure that there is no smoke in the rest of the apartment.
The decor is a mixture of classics, especially from Finland and Denmark, for example, Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair, Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen, Eero Aarnios Ball Chair and custom made furniture.
The apartment was very violated after being an office for many years, so we have worked to recreate the style of the original building in 1894, states the architect.
This involved brand new stucco ceilings, as one of Finland’s most skilled plasterers have done, which in turn, opened a possibility to hide all installations, wiring and cables for television, computers and the like.
The only thing we now see on the walls and ceilings, in addition to sockets, lamps and artwork, are the statutory fire alarms. It gives a purity that fits to the bright and light furniture, giving light free access through the large windows, which also opens up a nice view of one of Helsinki’s central parks.
Photos: Courtesy of Saukkonen + Partners
TLV Get Away is a stunning one off design apartment situated just behind Rabin Square in a quiet tree lined street in central Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a fabulous location for a cultured and convenienced lifestyle offering 24 hour restaurants, bars and supermarkets nearby. The apartment is situated on the second floor and enjoys a quiet outlook over the rear courtyard. Constructed in 2013, the 968 square foot (90 square meters) home features two bedrooms and one bathroom, lounge and balcony.
This sensational urban apartment is listed for sale at $1.95 million, from here.
Photos: Itay Sikolski