The refurbished apartment is located in the four-storey early 90’s residential building, in one of the Silesian purpose built pre-fabricated housing estates in Poland. The apartment appeared to be difficult matter to work with bearing in mind the existing constrains such as: prefabricated reinforced concrete elements (walls & slabs) limiting the possibility of spatial re-arrangement, low and overwhelming ceiling height, a large number of shafts, dark corridors and built-in storage units enclosed with timber cladding, all of which posed as a serious design challenge for an architect.
Critical requirement for the client, a young couple planning to enlarge their family in the near future, was to retain the current accommodation of their apartment – i.e. living room & master bedroom with separate study, which is to be converted to child bedroom in the future.
The existing unclear and overcomplicated layout required radical simplification to achieve the goal above. The obvious solution was to join the existing separate toilet suite and small bathroom into one generous family bathroom. Proposed utility cluster consisting of enlarged bathroom, re-modelled kitchen and hallway brought functional clarity into the apartment’s layout clearly distinguishing apart day and night zones.
The idea of flexible spatial arrangement was achieved by introduction of movable partitions, such as sliding pocket door (living room and study room) and pivot gib door to the bathroom, both bringing daylight deep into the utility cluster. Movable section of the wall acting as a ‘secret’ passage linking the bedroom and the bathroom is the most unique element of the apartment.
It needs to be emphasized that further changes in the functional and spatial layout of the apartment could not be achieved within the constraints of existing structure.
Distinction of new functional zones was emphasized further by selection of finishes. Habitable rooms were entirely white decorated which not only distinguished them from the utility cluster treated with birch plywood but also provided optical enlargement of low ceilings and enhanced natural lighting levels. A suitable wood treatment allowed achieving the desired, natural appearance of the material.
Limiting the range of used materials to a minimum allowed to create vivid, contrasting interior — an unusual juxtaposition of white and wood.
‘New’ apartment provides the neutral visual background for furniture and objects independently selected by the owners.