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    Anastasiia Novikova gives monochrome makeover to artists' apartment in Kyiv

    Parisian decor flourishes feature throughout this apartment in Kyiv, outfitted with black-and-white living spaces by Ukrainian designer Anastasiia Novikova.

    Renovated just before the start of the Ukraine war, the apartment is located on the third floor of a five-storey residential building erected in 1912.
    Anastasiia Novikova has reinstated stucco inside a 1912 apartment in KyivAfter its previous owners had completely ripped out all of the original stucco, doors and floorboards, Novikova wanted to restore the home’s historic charm – particularly in the living room.
    “When I saw the large empty room with its four-metre-high ceiling and four big windows, I immediately came up with a picture of how it would look in the future,” she said.
    “I wanted to make the walls, the floor, ceiling and windows like they were in the past and implement some modern furniture, light and art.”

    A vintage French mirror and fireplace mantel were added for decorationThe living room was freshened up with a lick of white paint while stucco was reinstated on its ceiling.
    “I created a few sketches, then a Ukrainian craftsman sculpted them entirely in one-to-one scale out of plasticine,” explained Novikova. “After that, they made it from plaster.”
    The kitchen features jet-black cabinetryElements of the stucco design are based on an ornate Napoleon II-era gilded mirror that’s mounted on a wall at the far end of the room, directly above a vintage Louis XV fireplace mantel.
    Novikova included these decor features to bring a slightly Parisian feel to the apartment as the owners – a pair of artists – love visiting the French capital.
    Grey tones permeate the principal bedroomThe living room is otherwise occupied by an L-shaped grey sofa, a selection of contemporary artworks by Ukrainian artists and an old piano that’s played at family parties.
    The adjacent kitchen was fitted with jet-black cabinets and a matching breakfast island. From the centre of the island extends a white marble dining table, accompanied by chairs with olive-green velvet seats.

    Yana Molodykh refurbishes attic apartment with views over Kyiv

    The apartment’s largely monochromatic colour scheme continues into the principal bedroom, where the walls, curtains and curved headboard are all a shade of putty grey.
    Textural interest is added by a shiny brass pendant lamp that’s been suspended over one of the side tables and a cane-inlaid bench that sits at the foot of the bed.
    Its ensuite bathroom is almost entirely lined with white marbleThe ensuite bathroom is housed inside a separate volume in the corner of the room, lined inside and out with panels of white veiny marble.
    Brighter shades appear in the children’s bedrooms – one of which is finished in sage green while the other is blush pink with mustard-yellow accents.
    Brighter colours were applied in the children’s bedroomsNovikova connected the two rooms via a small mezzanine, where the kids can hide away to play, read and nap throughout the day.
    The apartment is among a number of residential projects that were completed in the Ukrainian capital just before the start of the war and are now finally starting to be published.
    A cosy mezzanine connects the two kids’ roomsMakhno Studio finished Mureli House, an all-beige dwelling with intricate ceramic walls on the city’s outskirts, while designer Yana Molodykh reconfigured an attic apartment to allow for more storage and natural light.
    The photography is by Yevhenii Avramenko.

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    Seven homes with discrete cleverly designed lifts

    A converted showroom in London and a São Paulo penthouse with a wood-wrapped elevator are included in this lookbook of homes with smart residential lifts.

    Lifts, also known as elevators, are mechanical shafts that carry people, cars and loads between multiple levels and are typically used in tall buildings.
    But they can also be found in residential buildings, where they can be used to quickly move between floors and ensure that people with mobility issues can easily access the different levels of their homes.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring beige interiors, cosy cabins, space-saving pocket doors.
    Photo is by Ema PeterSyncline, Canada, by Omar Gandhi Architect

    Canadian architecture firm Omar Gandhi Architects built this three-storey home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The home was named after a syncline – a type of rock formation – and comprises two white volumes that flank a double-height glazed core at its centre.
    A lift was added to the home and set within locally-sourced spruce housing. This elevator is located at the corner of the home and leads to its open-plan kitchen from behind a white door.
    Find out more about Syncline ›
    Photo is by Masao NishikawaEspirit House, Japan, by Apollo Architects & Associates 
    Espirit House was designed by Japanese architecture studio Apollo Architects & Associates for a client who works in landscaping.
    The main bulk of the home has a blocky concrete form and is suspended above a garage. An elevator leads to the interior of the home,  where it is located next to the staircase in the main dining area. Floor-to-ceiling windows flank each side of the home, bringing light to the wood-clad interior.
    Find out more about Espirit House ›
    Photo is by Joe FletcherCole Valley Residence, US, by Jensen Architects
    Completed by San Francisco-based practice Jensen Architects, this home was built for a couple who wanted a home with a serene feel that had views of San Francisco.
    Totalling five storeys, the home is composed of a number of stacked boxes with cantilevered areas. Jensen Architects added a simplistic interior palette of white oak, plaster and polished concrete.
    An elevator was added to the home so that its owners can enjoy the space and its views as they age. On the fourth floor, it is located within a white-painted volume and opens up towards an outdoor terrace.
    Find out more about Cole Valley Residence ›
    Photo is by Fran ParenteSão Paulo penthouse, Brazil, by Tria Arquitectura
    At this São Paulo penthouse, which was designed by Brazilian studio Tria Arquitectura, an elevator shaft was wrapped in vertical strips of slatted wood.
    Other textural materials were used throughout the home, including travertine floors, fabric and wood-panelled walls, which contrast against the home’s stark white walls.
    Find out more about São Paulo penthouse ›
    Photo is by Rachael SmithDanish Mews House, UK, by Neil Dusheiko
    In this west London home that was converted from a showroom to a residence for its elderly owners, British architect Neil Duskeiko installed a lift so that its residents could gain access to the upper floors of the home with ease.
    The elevator runs from the ground floor to the living area and finally to the primary bedroom, which was decorated with floral wallpaper. The elevator has a wooden door with a decorative grain that matches the ceiling.
    Find out more about Danish Mews House ›
    Photo is by Kyle MonkCase Room, US, by Geoffrey von Oeyen
    A glass door fronted elevator was added to the ground and first floor of this Malibu home that was designed by American designer Geoffrey von Oeyen.
    Von Oeyen extended the home and incorporated a paired back interior palette that was comprised of light wood panelling, dark stone floors and white walls. The elevator, which is located to the right of the front entrance, allows visitors with limited mobility to easily access the home’s renovated media room.
    Find out more about Case Room ›
    Photo is by Stijn Poelstra FotografieAmsterdamsestraatweg Water Tower, the Netherlands, by Zecc Architecten
    A former water tower in Utrecht was converted into a series of apartments that have 360-degree views of the city. Dutch studio Zecc Architecten retrofitted the building and added the largest of its apartments, a six-level home, to its very peak.
    A private elevator, located within a white volume and beside a floating staircase, provides access to the six-floor apartment and opens out to an entrance space that features a rusted metal convexed ceiling constructed from the tower’s former water tank.
    Find out more about Utrecht Water Tower ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring beige interiors, cosy cabins, save-saving and pocket doors. 

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    Eight neutral home interiors that prove beige doesn't have to be boring

    A residence for retirees in Tel Aviv and a stripped-back Barbican apartment by minimalist architect John Pawson feature in this lookbook of beige interiors designed to bring a sense of calm into the home.

    To compensate for their desaturated colour palette, these spaces rely on a varied material palette – ranging from pale timbers and limestone to textured plaster – in order to add visual and tactile interest.
    Accompanied by plenty of storage, this helps to create peaceful, decluttered spaces even in tight urban areas.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring cosy cabins, save-saving pocket doors and Spanish apartment renovations with eclectic tiles.
    Photo by Ståle EriksenDollis Hill Avenue, UK, by Thomas-McBrien

    British architecture firm Thomas-McBrien used pale bricks and whitewashed oak joinery to create a “calm and relaxing” atmosphere inside this house extension in London’s Dollis Hill.
    In the pursuit of continuity, the timber was used to line everything from the kitchen cupboards and the floors to a newly added partition wall, which conceals a hidden utility room on one side and forms a cosy reading nook on the other.
    Find out more about Dollis Hill Avenue ›
    Photo courtesy of Makhno StudioMureli House, Ukraine, by Makhno Studio
    Completed just two months before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this home near Kyiv was designed to celebrate Ukrainian craft traditions and is finished almost entirely in beige.
    “All materials in the home are natural,” architect Serhii Makhno told Dezeen. “The team used almost all Ukrainian brands and worked with several local contractors to minimise the distance and logistics.”
    Find out more about Mureli House ›
    Photo by Mikaela BurstowIceberg apartment, Israel, by Laila Architecture
    Israeli architect Talia Davidi of Laila Architecture used only pale, muted colours when designing this apartment in Tel Aviv, with the aim of turning it into a calm refuge for its retired owners.
    To form a brighter, more open floor plan, almost all of the home’s partition walls were removed, while many of the surfaces – including the kitchen and the storage volume-cum-room divider in the living room – were finished in light birch plywood.
    Find out more about Iceberg apartment ›
    Barbican apartment designed by John PawsonBarbican apartment, UK, by John Pawson
    In keeping with his typically minimalist style, British designer John Pawson stripped this Barbican apartment back to its bare bones, adding only a smattering of furnishings and pale surfaces all around.
    Full-height cupboards were integrated into a central timber volume made of bleached maple wood so that all belongings can be stowed away rather than cluttering the space.
    Find out more about the Barbican apartment ›
    Photo by Jonas Bjerre-PoulsenForest Retreat, Sweden, by Norm Architects
    Sandy-hued Dolomite plaster, plump greige sofas and a sheepskin-covered lounge chair were used to dress the living room of this traditional timber cabin in a Swedish forest, which Danish studio Norm Architects has converted into a pared-back holiday home.
    “Creating homes is often an exercise in restraint,” explained co-founder Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen. “And while the creation of a simple, authentic and welcoming space might seem effortless and natural once completed, the journey to simplicity and the exercise of finding essence is often rather complex and not an easy task.”
    Find out more about Forest Retreat ›
    Photo by Lorenzo Zandri and Christian BraileyLow Energy House, UK, by Architecture for London
    Architecture for London founder Ben Ridley aimed to celebrate the “modest beauty” of this three-floor Edwardian house in Muswell Hill when turning the neglected building into his own home.
    Instead of cement-based products, natural materials including limestone, lime plaster and timber were used throughout the scheme to emphasise the home’s original details while also lowering its embodied carbon footprint.
    Find out more about A Brutalist Tropical Home ›
    Photo by Do SyBrown Box apartment, Vietnam, by Limdim House Studio
    Creamy terrazzo features not just on the kitchen counters but spills out across all of the floors of this apartment in the Vietnamese port city of Huế, designed by local practice Limdim House Studio.
    Curving walls covered in textural plaster provide a backdrop for the interior’s restrained colour palette, which is warmed up with a handful of wooden furnishings to evoke a sense of quiet sophistication.
    Find out more about Brown Box apartment ›
    Photo by Salem MostefaouiWood Ribbon apartment, France, by Toledano + Architects
    A sinuous plywood wall snakes its way through this Haussmann-era apartment in Paris, forming integrated shelves in the sitting room and storage cupboards in the kitchen that can be pushed back to reveal the sink and appliances.
    The pale wood complements the apartment’s original parquet flooring and ornate plasterwork, paired with tonal furnishings including an oatmeal-coloured sofa in one room and a travertine island in the other.
    Find out more about Wood Ribbon apartment ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring cosy cabins, save-saving pocket doors and Spanish apartment renovations with eclectic tiles.

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    Ten Spanish apartment renovations characterised by eclectic tiles

    For our latest lookbook, we have collected 10 apartments in Spain that have been brought to life using decorative tiles, from preserved 20th-century features to speckled contemporary terrazzo grout.

    Known for its abundance of colourful tiles, Spain has many period apartments with original details including ornate archways and eclectic tiling.
    The following architecture and interior design studios have made the most of these traditions when renovating homes, which often involved refreshing the homes’ interiors while maintaining their history, or adding contemporary elements that nod to the past.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring statement carpets, pop-up shops and homes with sliding doors.
    Photo is by José HeviaYurikago House, Barcelona, by Mas-aqui

    Architecture studio Mas-aqui opened up an apartment in Barcelona by creating multiple levels lined with slabs of exposed concrete, slatted wood and reddish ceramic tiles.
    The dwelling was named  Yurikago House after the Japanese word for a cradle, which references the shape of the timber structure that supports part of a new mezzanine that was created in the renovation.
    Find out more about Yurikago House ›
    Photo is by German SáizMadrid apartment by Sierra + De La Higuera
    Set within a 1940s building, interior spaces in this Madrid apartment were delineated with vibrantly hued Moroccan zellige tiles, from bold yellow accents in the living room to an emerald green kitchen.
    The tiles are defined by imperfect hand-moulded surfaces and feature throughout the home in the form of decorative skirting as well as flooring and cabinetry.
    Find out more about this Madrid apartment ›
    Photo is by Mariela ApollonioValencia apartment by DG Arquitecto
    During the minimalist renovation of a 1920s apartment in Valencia, local studio DG Arquitecto preserved the original mosaic elements – flooring that the firm called “typical” of the city.
    The studio paired mid-century rattan dining chairs and delicate timber elements with the colourful tiles while original mouldings and decorative arched doorways were also maintained.
    Find out more about this Valencia apartment ›
    Photo is by José Hevia1040 Unit, Madrid, by Studio Noju
    Working within Madrid’s iconic brutalist Torres Blancas tower, emerging practice Studio Noju created an apartment that balances contemporary details with the building’s brutalist history.
    Each of the dwelling’s three bathrooms were individually colour-coded with small geometric mosaics that nod to the green ceramic tiles that clad the apartment’s terraces.
    “The [mosaic] material allowed us to solve all the elements of the bathroom such as shower areas, vanities, walls and floors, referencing a similar material strategy used in the original design,” studio co-founder Antonio Mora told Dezeen.
    Find out more about 1040 Unit ›
    Image is courtesy of NarchBarcelona apartment by Narch
    Eclectically arranged decorative floors dating back to the early 20th century take centre stage in this Barcelona apartment that was renovated by Narch architecture office.
    Known as encaustic tiling, which is common in the city, each tile is created by pouring pigmented ceramics into moulds and pressing them to create a pattern.
    Elsewhere in the apartment, doors made from laminated glass screen off its bedrooms. This material was chosen for its neutrality in order to emphasise the space’s ornate flooring.
    Find out more about this Barcelona apartment ›
    Photo is by Asier RuaCasa Olivar, Madrid, by Matteo Ferrari and Carlota Gallo
    Casa Olivar is a two-storey apartment by designers Matteo Ferrari and Carlota Gallo, which is characterised by handmade terracotta floor tiles that complement the home’s muted colour palette.
    Created as a “sensorial refuge”, the dwelling includes two large windows in the living room that flood the space with natural light. Earthy-toned, simple materials feature throughout, including textured plaster finishes.
    Find out more about Casa Olivar ›
    Photo is by Judith Casas SayósBarcelona apartment by Parramon + Tahull
    Barcelona studio Parramon + Tahull added bespoke birch plywood joinery and continuous tiled flooring to an apartment in the city’s Gracia neighbourhood, in order to blend with the building’s original features.
    Created by Spanish manufacturer Wow, the terracotta tiles feature a mismatched geometric design that covers the entire apartment, including the kitchen and the bathroom.
    Find out more about this Barcelona apartment ›
    Photo is by José HeviaLaia and Biel’s House, Barcelona, by TEd’A
    Architecture office TEd’A used crushed tiles to create playful terrazzo grout in a renovated apartment that belongs to the owners of the Mallorcan tile brand Huguet.
    The grout was made from the original terracotta tiles that lined the home before its revamp, which were crushed into tiny pieces to form a reddish-hued aggregate that was mixed with existing white tile grout.
    “Our idea was to keep the best parts of the old flat we bought,” Biel told Dezeen, citing sustainability and honouring the apartment’s original design.
    Find out more about Laia and Biel’s House ›
    Photo is by Yago PartalEnd of the Roc, Barcelona, by Nook Architects
    Nook Architects redesigned another apartment in Barcelona while maintaining its distinctive historical details, including a striking mural-style wall that is over 40 years old, timber beams and intricately patterned floor tiles.
    “Our approach to End of the Roc revolved around the restoration and consolidation of the building’s original character,” said the architecture studio.
    Find out more about End of the Roc ›
    Photo is by Jordi FolchCasa Burés, Barcelona, by Vilablanch and TDB Arquitectura
    Interior design studio Vilablanch collaborated with TBD Arquitectura to refurbish all 26 apartments within Case Burés – a 20th-century building constructed by the late architect Francesc Berenguer i Mestres.
    The team selected “silent” contemporary furnishings to complement Case Burés’ original decorative features, such as stainless steel geometric cabinetry that was chosen so as not to “compete with” or “imitate” the colourful tiled flooring.
    Find out more about Casa Burés ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring statement carpets, pop-up shops and homes with sliding doors. 

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    Cruciform cabinet anchors The Loma Residence by Esrawe Studio

    An oak “skin” wraps the interior of living spaces at this apartment in Mexico City, renovated by locally based Esrawe Studio.

    The two-bedroom Loma Residence in the neighbourhood of Lomas de Chapultepec faces sunset views over the forest, so Esrawe Studio reconfigured the layout to optimise this orientation.
    The Loma Residence was reconfigured so that living spaces could enjoy west-facing vistas and lightWalls and partitions were removed to create a more open living and dining space, where low furniture is arranged so as not to obstruct the vista or prevent the golden-hour light from reaching far into the apartment.
    To deal with a column and create separation from the rest of the apartment in a single gesture, the studio wrapped the structural element in oak and extended low consoles from both sides — forming a cross shape.
    Oak panels wrap a structural column and extend out to form low consoles”Its sculptural expression triggers the operative relationship of the space, defining the leading gesture of the project, and becoming the element that houses books, vinyl records, and a space for a turntable,” said Esrawe Studio, which was founded by Héctor Esrawe.

    Storage cabinets at the same height are continued along a nearby wall, forming part of a much larger expanse of millwork that extends to the ceiling and wraps around the living room.
    A granite island sits in the centre of the minimalist kitchen”The oak wood skin that runs through the space embraces the perimeter of the apartment,” the studio said. “This same skin integrates all doors and entrances to the service areas, creating a visual, warm, and tactile continuity that travels all the way to the master bedroom.”
    The kitchen can also be hidden from the living area by sliding partitions in the same material.

    Chloé Mason Gray utilises “masculine” elements for Mexico City renovation

    When open, these operable panels sit flush within the millwork, which curves in on both sides to also conceal the refrigerator and the access to the pantry, linen closet and wine cellar.
    In the centre of the kitchen sits a green-toned granite island that incorporates four gas burners, and the sink faces a long window that frames the verdant landscape.
    Oak wraps the perimeter of the apartment and continues into the bedroomsSurfaces that aren’t oak are marble, to “provide the space with a sober and contemporary atmosphere” according to the design team.
    The exception is the guest bathroom, which is lined in green quartizite and features a sculptural Tikal marble washbasin designed by EWE Studio — founded by Esrawe with gallerist and curator Age Salajõe, and designer Manuel Bañó to promote Mexico’s craft heritage.
    EWE Studio designed a sculptural Tikal marble washbasin for the guest bathroomEsrawe Studio was named Interiors Studio of the Year at the 2020 Dezeen Awards, and operates from a converted dancehall with an “honest industrial aesthetic” in the Mexican capital.
    The studio’s completed interior projects have ranged from a glossy bar at the city’s Auditorio Nacional to a restaurant informed by Samurai armour and Kanji characters.
    The photography is by Fabián Martinez.
    Project credits:
    Interior design and furniture: Esrawe StudioCreative direction: Héctor EsraweDesign team: Ángel Campos, Javier García-Rivera, Raúl Araiza, Jair Rocha, Viviana Contreras.Visualizations: Madián Alvarado

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    Tria Arquitetura renovates São Paulo penthouse with sculptural staircase

    A large variety of art and collectible design pieces populate this penthouse apartment in São Paulo, designed by local studio Tria Arquitetura, which also includes a sculptural staircase.

    The renovation of the 960-square-metre Frederic Chopin Apartment was led by architect Marina Cardoso de Almeida of Tria Arquitetura, who reconfigured the layout to make the most of the high ceilings and views.
    A sculptural staircase snakes between the levels of the duplex apartmentThe apartment is split over two floors and is home to an art-loving couple.
    Previously the owners of a large house, the clients chose to move to an apartment for convenience and security, but still wanted their space to feel open and expansive.
    Green furniture and rugs are highlighted against mostly neutral-toned materialsThe primary suite was moved to the upper floor, where the bed could be aligned with a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks the cityscape.

    An intimate library was also created on this level, so that the whole floor is dedicated entirely to private space, apart from the patio and pool terrace, where the clients entertain guests.
    The couple’s contemporary art collection draws attention throughout the apartmentTwo employees’ suites were shifted to the lower floor, and a guest suite and home theatre were added in place of the closet.
    Connecting the two levels is a staircase with travertine treads and solid white bannisters, which snakes up a double-height space to appear like a piece of sculpture.
    Slatted wooden panels wrap the elevator block, the fireplace and the wall dividing the main living room from the guest areaThis sets the tone for the rest of the contemporary artworks and materials used throughout the penthouse.
    “The main concept in the choice of finishes and architectural solutions was to bring comfort but still leave a big void so that the works could dress the house,” said Tria Arquitetura.
    Stainless steel in the kitchen matches a wrapped column in the living areaIn the open living and dining area, colourful paintings adorn the walls, and furniture and rugs in shades of green and orange stand out against the otherwise neutral palette.
    “In the living room there were three large main volumes that should be highlighted to bring texture and more cosiness,” Tria Arquitetura said.
    The staircase features solid white bannisters and travertine treadsThese include the elevator block, the fireplace and the wall dividing the main room from the guest area, which are covered in thin vertical slats of veneered natural wood.
    Another column is wrapped in stainless steel to offer a cool, sharp-edged contrast to the wood and other warm tones in the living room.
    The primary bedroom was moved upstairs to face the best viewUpstairs in the library, wide-planked wood flooring is continued up the walls to make the room feel cosy, and provide a backdrop for a series of framed vintage maps.
    “It was only in the library that the architect chose to cover all the walls with the same wood as the floor to give more seriousness and highlight the environment from the others,” the studio said.

    Studio MK27 combines different textures in São Paulo apartment interior

    Updates were also made to the outdoor area, where the pool was reduced in size and re-edged to better integrate it with the landscaping.
    A pair of imitation classical pillars were also demolished, and a wood and glass pergola was added to cover the patio.
    Walls of an intimate library are panelled with the same wood as the floorThroughout the apartment, fully automated systems controlling the air conditioning, lighting, landscaping irrigation, and curtains and blinds were added during the renovation.
    The project took over two years to complete due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    The project also involved adding a pergola and reducing the pool size on the terraceApartment living is commonplace in densely populated São Paulo, where architects and designers have used their creativity to add character to previously uninspiring spaces.
    Other recently completed examples include a residence by Studio MK27 that features furry upholstery, lace curtains and tactile rugs, and a renovation by Memola Estudio that exposed the building’s concrete structure.
    The photography is by Fran Parente.
    Project credits:
    Lead architect: Marina Cardoso de AlmeidaCreative team: Marina Cardoso de Almeida, Sarah Bonanno, Barbara Castro, Barbara Silva, Virginia CaldasEngineering: Steel ConstruçõesLandscaping: Alex HanazakiLight technician: Carlos FortesAutomation: TaagAir conditioning: Dealtec

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    Tiny Glasgow apartment transformed into playful pied-à-terre

    Architect Lee Ivett, designer Simon Harlow and developer Duncan Blackmore have turned a 25-square-metre apartment in Glasgow into a brightly coloured space that doesn’t contain any freestanding furniture.

    Blackmore worked closely with Ivett and Harlow to plan the interior of the ground-floor tenement flat, which he uses as a base while visiting his other projects in the city’s Govanhill area.
    The micro-apartment was designed in GlasgowWhen Blackmore purchased the property it comprised a cramped hallway, a compact shower room, a kitchen and a sleeping area, which were separated by partition walls.
    The main idea for the redesigned space was to enable circulation throughout and to utilise its verticality in addition to the square-shaped floor area.
    It includes a tiny kitchen space”I wanted to be able to walk around in the flat, even though it’s tiny,” said Blackmore. “I also wanted the majority of the space to be flexible in terms of use, rather than defining areas for certain activities.”

    Work began with the removal of internal walls and the raising of existing structural openings closer to the 3.4-metre ceilings. A series of volumes designed in three dimensions were then inserted to fulfil various functional needs.
    An open space contains a fixed, multi-purpose benchThe apartment’s entrance area leads into an open space containing a fixed bench for sitting, lounging or sleeping. A shelf that functions as a desk is inserted next to one of two large, south-facing windows that flood the interior with natural light.
    Key functions, including washing, sleeping, cooking and the entrance, are pushed to the edges of the plan, freeing up the rest of the space so it can be used in a variety of different ways.
    The main space was left intentionally uncluttered”I was keen to avoid having a typical living space with a sofa, a coffee table and a television,” Blackmore told Dezeen.
    “The main space is entirely unprogrammed and uncluttered and has almost nothing in it. You can use it for a meeting or a party or just as somewhere to sit and think. I like how versatile and unfussy it is.”
    A compact shower room was createdA mezzanine sleeping platform is slotted in above a compact shower room, taking advantage of the vertical space and preventing the room from feeling disproportionately high.
    The bed is reached via a set of wooden steps, with a small circular hole seen from the living area providing somewhere to place a hand while manoeuvring into position.
    The mezzanine is reached via small wooden stepsThe new interventions are built around the retained structure and feature forms that playfully disguise which walls, columns or beams retain their original functionality.
    “Lee came up with the shapes based on the connection between existing openings and the geometry we imposed on the space,” Blackmore pointed out.
    A small circular hole provides a view to the living area”Where we needed to bridge differences in height or gaps between certain elements, the surfaces meet each other with a curve or a step,” he added, “so the decoration is derived from the resolution of these structural glitches.”
    The project takes its name, Ferguson, from the found nameplate of a previous occupier and the design borrows from the architectural heritage of its surroundings.
    The kitchen features an oversized red cast-concrete sinkThe remnants of a nearby building that burned down informed the arched shape above the stairs up to the sleeping area, as well as an opening that allows daylight to filter through to the shower room.
    Coloured cushions on the bench reference the doorway of a nearby building, while the bright-yellow datum that extends around the space is a reversal of the painted walls in the tenement’s shared stairwell.
    The remnants of a nearby building that burned down informed the arched shape above the stairsThe kitchen contains the minimum amenities needed to obtain a building warrant. Its oversized red cast-concrete sink is accessible for hand washing on arrival from the entrance hall – a legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic during which the project was built.
    Behind the apartment’s only internal door, the shower room is fully lined in two colourways of a decorative solid surface material made by Simon Harlow’s company Mirrl. A custom-made sink extends the use of bright yellow seen elsewhere in the interior.

    Proctor and Shaw designs London micro-apartment with translucent “sleeping cocoon”

    The entire project was fabricated by Harlow and artist’s technician Simon Richardson, resulting in a level of craftsmanship and intuitive creative detailing that lends it a strong sense of personality.
    Blackmore is keen to emphasise that the apartment should not be viewed as an example of tiny living, as he only ever spends brief spells of time there.
    A custom-made sink extends the use of bright yellow seen elsewhere”I’m absolutely not suggesting that people should live like this,” he said. “The space is really personal and tailored to my needs, which are a nice bed, a hot shower with good water pressure and decent WiFi.”
    “If you were living there permanently you would design it very differently, but as a place for me to stay and work or relax it’s perfect.”
    Blackmore is the co-founder of developer Arrant Land, which creates projects led by an interest in architecture, built heritage and the social dynamics of the UK’s towns and cities.
    Previous projects backed by Arrant Land include a red-brick house with playful tiled detailing in south London and an apartment building in the seaside town of Whitstable featuring black brick walls that evoke the nearby wooden fishing huts.
    The photography is by Pierce Scourfield.

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    Studio Noju renovates curvy apartment in brutalist Torres Blancas tower

    Local firm Studio Noju has updated a two-storey Madrid apartment within the Torres Blancas high-rise with a renovation that remains “in constant dialogue” with the original apartment design.

    Designed in 1961 by architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíz, Torres Blancas is a 71-metre-high exposed concrete tower featuring cylindrical shapes that create bulbous balconies on its facade and curved rooms inside.
    Studio Noju renovated the largest apartment in Torres BlancasStudio Noju overhauled the 1040 unit – the brutalist building’s biggest apartment – to balance its history with contemporary design details, according to the firm.
    “Our interior design proposal for the apartment takes inspiration from the original ideas that the architect came up with for the building,” studio co-founder Antonio Mora told Dezeen.
    Recovered terrace space is characterised by green tilesA key part of the project involved expanding the apartment’s exterior area on the first floor from 15 to almost 80 square metres to create the amount of outdoor space that existed before multiple past renovations of the tower.

    This expansion added terraces that are characterised by curved floor-to-ceiling glazing and slatted crimson shutters. These open onto gleaming green ceramic tiles that take cues from 1960s interiors and form built-in benches, fountains and planters that follow the terraces’ meandering contours.
    Visitors enter at a semi-circular foyer”The outdoor spaces have been once again consolidated into a continuous terrace that follows the outline of the original plan,” explained Mora, who set up Studio Noju with Eduardo Tazón in 2020.
    “There is a constant dialogue between many of the solutions we have proposed in the interior design of the apartment with those proposed more than 50 years ago by Sáenz de Oiza.”
    White walls and ceilings create an airy open-plan first floorVisitors enter the apartment at a semi-circular foyer featuring Segovia black slate and wine-red panelling – the same materials used in the building’s communal areas.
    The open-plan ground floor is interrupted by snaking white structural walls, such as a partition in the living room that features repetitive circular openings.
    The kitchen was formed from a continuous countertopA continuous custom-made countertop with a subtle green hue forms the kitchen area, which includes a statement bulbous sink that echoes Torres Blancas’ cylindrical facade.
    Light reflects from the original glass-brick tinted windows and illuminates the smooth resin floor and metallic wall accents.
    Studio Noju salvaged an original brass banister for the staircaseWhite geometric treads create a floating staircase with an original polished brass banister that leads to the first floor. Upstairs, a sequence of bedrooms is characterised by oak ceilings that contrast with the bright white ceilings on the ground floor.
    Each bathroom is playfully colour-coded with individual mosaics of bright tiles, complete with sconce lights, mirrors and cabinetry that follow the rounded shapes found throughout the apartment.
    Each bathroom has colour-coded tiles”The [mosaic] material allowed us to solve all the elements of the bathroom such as shower areas, vanities, walls and floors, referencing a similar material strategy used in the original design,” said Mora.
    Adjacent to the main bedroom, the first-floor terrace includes a large green tile-clad outdoor bathtub cloaked in a sheer curtain, which is flanked by plants that were positioned to absorb the water produced by bathing.

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    “The element that we are most proud of is the feeling of a house-patio that has been recovered in the apartment,” reflected Mora.
    “The unit once again revolves around the exterior spaces, and these seem to blend with the interior through the curved traces of green tiles that enter and exit the living room and dining area,” added the architect.
    “Our biggest challenge was striking a balance between honouring the building, but at the same time imbuing the interior design with our language.”
    The first floor terrace features an outdoor bathtubStudio Noju showcased a similar colourful style in its debut project, which involved the renovation of an open-plan Seville apartment.
    Torres Blancas was among the buildings captured by photographer Roberto Conte in his series of brutalist buildings in Madrid.
    The photography is by José Hevia. 

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