This Moscow-based couple’s second home is located on the ground floor of a classical villa in the Grunewald district of Berlin. Pared-down to the main elements, the new design for this apartment reveals clear gallery-style rooms, whose character is accentuated by a minimalistic lighting concept from .PSLAB. A pale grey concrete floor is combined with soaped ash and nero marquina marble in the kitchen island and the bathroom, as well as for the long bench in the living room. Between the kitchen and the entrance hall stands a “box” containing wardrobes, kitchen cupboards and a mirrored cloakroom. The clarity of the design is underlined by hiding all ironmongery from sight and by avoiding the use of door handles. Even the fridge door opens simply via gentle pressure – and with the help of an integrated motor. A separating wall divides the kitchen from the dining and living zone with its large dining table and marble-clad fireplace. Sleeping and bathroom zones flow one into the other – the bath is freestanding and the level-access shower is simply bounded by a chrome-framed glass wall.
Apartment MM, Berlin, Germany, by Designer, for Bruzkus Batek Architekten
Purified Residence, Nanjing, China, by Wei Yi International Design Associates
Located in a residential neighborhood next to the Tianhe district in central Guangzhou, Atelier Peter Fong by Lukstudio revives an empty corner lot into both an office and a cafe. Through a series of clean white volumes, the design purifies the existing chaotic site to create a calm yet inviting atmosphere.
From the outside, a floating aluminum canopy connects the volumes together, while delineating between the old and the new. Three boxes stick out from the interior, composing a coherent façade while enabling areas in-between like urban alleys that draw people in from the street. Each box contains a distinct program; café, brainstorming area, meeting room and a break-out lounge. In contrast to the pristine forms, the voids are painted gray and left with the original structural ceiling.
Following a process of meticulous spatial carving, openings and niches are shaped within the volumes. Large cut-outs connect the café to the exterior and frame the surrounding greenery. On the inside, white ceiling pockets and wooden niches create a sense of intimacy. The office entry is also carved at its edge to feature a peaceful Zen garden, which becomes a focal point and visually connects the different parts of the office together.
The selection of materials further enhances the pure definition of the spaces. Smooth surfaces such as white walls and terrazzo flooring dominate the main space, serving as a canvas to capture light and shadow. The brainstorming box is lined with polycarbonate panels that form a subtle visual connection between the café and the workplace. Intimate areas are characterized by organic elements; such as continuous timber panels in the brainstorming zone and remnants of an existing brick wall in the lounge.
Combining artisanal café culture with a collaborative co-working space, Atelier Peter Fong adapts a contemporary social model to a local Chinese neighborhood. The complete transformation of a forgotten site into a destination demonstrates how architectural interventions can activate the streetscape and enhance nearby communities.
In and Between Boxes, Guangzhou, China, by LUKSTUDIO
Located in Wadi Abu Jamil at the Beirut central district, the project is an interior refurbishment of a two-floor penthouse completed by Lebanese design studio platau for a family of four. the original arrangement of the penthouse presented a fragmented circulation between both levels, with poor spatial interaction and a narrow main foyer. During its development and execution phases, the project became centered around creating architecture in the light of local craftsmanship constraints.
Wadi Penthouse, Beirut, Lebanon, by platau
Danish studio Norm Architects has taken influences from both Scandinavian and Japanese design to create this pared-back gallery and workspace for Kinfolk magazine in central Copenhagen. The local studio worked closely with Kinfolk’s editor-in-chief Nathan Williams and communications director Jessica Gray to develop the design, which features a gallery as well as an office. The aim was to create a collaborative workspace where the magazine’s staff could meet together but also invite friends and partners to share ideas. A palette of wood and plaster in muted tones creates an informal, home-like environment that is more akin to a lounge than an office.
Kinfolk Offices, by Norm Architects
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Set on three acres of native bushland, this home balances contemporary design influenced by modernist principles with a warm and inviting country-home feel. The interior of the long, spacious pavilion-style house has been paid uncompromising attention. Opulent, textural materials, a deep tonal palette and generosity of space create a noticeably bold yet comforting environment. Fine handcrafted joinery and custom textiles are eye-catching next to beautiful stone, in an overall distinctly elegant and calm scheme.
Bendigo Residence, Victoria, Australia, by Flack Studio
Photography by Brooke Holm
Designed by Alfredo Häberli Design Development to showcase the exceptional craftsmanship of German company Baufritz’s timber homes, the project features a main building (“the Flagship”) and a separate adjacent structure that sits atop a wide column.
“East meets West” is a term often used to describe instances where design and culture from the opposite corners of the compass meet and mingle with astute poise. And in the case of this apartment on the 22nd floor of a new, high-rise residential building in Dongguan in southeast China, this exact term couldn’t have found a more apt implementation.
Realized through the stellar collaborative efforts between Minas Kosmidis [Architecture in Concept], an architecture studio based in Thessaloniki, Greece (the “West” part of the term) and YuQiang and Partners Interior Design, a design studio based in Shenzhen, China (the “East” part of the term), this private home is the ideal link between Western design directives and Eastern lifestyle requirements.
The project takes place in a long, narrow and stately apartment whose façade connects to the access street via an elegant bow-window and to a large but not very attractive interior courtyard through a gallery. In between, 140 square meters to resolve more or less conventional housing requirements.
Two key strategies drive the design as a whole. The first is that there are no hallways between rooms; they connect directly via an enfilade of sorts. This gives rise to a series of intermediary spaces that lack a defined code or function, which transforms them into potential play, reading, storage rooms, etc. These spaces which serve as a backbone to the dwelling don’t even feature doors, and their partitions fall short of the ceiling, making them, as it were, rooms within an original container space.
The second decision is structuring all rooms on three sections, based on three levels. A top level – the original wooden beam and ceramic vault ceiling – runs throughout the house and is painted grey. Nothing breaks up this level, since partitions do not reach up to the ceiling. Running from 60 cm to 230 cm and painted white, an intermediary level encompasses and structures the rooms, closing in the space even though there are no doors and the partitions don’t reach the ceiling. The lower level, running from the floor to a height of 60 cm, features flooring rising up the partitions in distinctive contrast for each space, while maintaining symmetry with the entrance – tile for wet rooms, wood for living rooms and bedrooms, and a new type of tile for outdoor-facing rooms, the street-side bow-window and the gallery connecting to the courtyards. The thresholds linking the rooms feature a new material, white micro-cement, which likewise covers the partitions in the entrance, which was re-arranged to clearly establish the public spaces facing the street and the private spaces facing the inner courtyard.
The entire interior space is thus organised as a series of rooms which are set off but connected and which always connect to the two exits to the outside, through which light penetrates into more interior spaces, creating a beautiful light gradation. Spaces which require more privacy follow a similar pattern but with greater privacy.
The gallery leading to the courtyards was completely demolished and was re-built (both structurally and in terms of building materials) using enormous wood doors featuring different cuts and glasses of various transparency that manage to illuminate the interior despite its unfavourable orientation while blurring the unappealing view.
Tamarit Apartment, by RAS Arquitectura
Photography by Jose Hevia
A Danish couple based in South America engaged us to design and equip their newly built Copenhagen apartment. Furniture, fittings, colors and materials were carefully selected for the clients. With the client’s desire to create a modern apartment, whilst avoiding the usual collection of Scandinavian classics, we brought life and personality to the cold white bare rooms and gave their home a sense of meaning and personality. Several bespoke pieces were created for this home – library wall shelving, walk-in closets and benches, office cabinet walls, kitchen cabinet, entrance wall storage and a lounge table with thick terrazzo plates and brass details.
Krøyers Plads, Denmark, by Studio David Thulstrup
Photography by Hampus Berndtson