New life for an apartament in a block – A Cubist apartament in the Forest
Photos from the living room before
I think that anyone can be delight with really beautiful and unique apartments. These most remarkable architectural realizations, which were created with great respect for the everyday functioning of users, but also with a meticulous refinement of every finishing detail are just like a piece of art. Like a specific kind of art with which we can commune on a daily basis. It would seem that the most memorable places like this require not only a huge budget, but also an ideal location and well-known names of designers. Nothing more wrong! A gem of design can be found just everywhere – even in a typical block from the 60s, somewhere on the outskirts of the city. This has just been proved by the designers of the D44 office in its last realization from the city of >>Forest<< in Brussels.
When architects were asked to create a design of the interior for an apartment located on the seventh floor of one of the blocks in the Forest, nothing foretold an extraordinary realization. Oh, just another typical flat, like many others seen before. With a standard layout of rooms – a closed kitchen, a „night” part of the apartment separated by anteroom and a living room with a balcony. But as soon as the designers pulled away the heavy curtains that blocked the passage to the balcony window, they saw a breathtaking view of the whole of Brussels. And they already knew that they would base their ideas on this extraordinary image. This and the interest of the owners in cubist art allowed to create a coherent idea for an unusual interior.
The main design assumption was to refer to the idea of Czech cubism and stylistics associated with this trend from the 30s and 60s. One of the main theses of architectural cubism assumes that all lines and surfaces in the building must reflect the natural process of crystallization – that is why the basic body exposed on the elevations and in the ornaments was a pyramid, and the typical shape for cumism – a triangle. The owners also asked for a simple, minimalist and sometimes even harsh design in the interior finish.
Not only stylistic changes, but also serious interference in the layout of the rooms were necessary to maximize the potential of the flat. To emphasize the beauty of the view from the windows you had to open the space – that’s why it was decided to liquidate the walls dividing the living room and kitchen and create a large, open and multifunctional room, whose entire outer wall is virtually one big, oblong window presenting the panorama of Brussels. Kitchen construction was located along the wall separating the new day zone from the hall and the rest of the apartment. Along the same wall, on the other side of the entrance to the living room, a small office was located, which allows for a comfortable work and at the same time gives the possibility of total separation from the living room space. The kitchen and office development reflects the assumptions of Cubism art – divisions with straight lines, and a contrasting combination of white and natural warm wood create shapes of regular, but also less regular triangles. The design of the interior refers to the minimalist design from the 1960s, which is why the rest of the furnishing in the living room also refers to this era.
To further emphasize the simplicity, or even the brutal minimalism of the interior, the architects decided on an interesting treatment. The plaster from the ceiling above the kitchen and office area and leading to the hallway, was completely removed, which allowed to expose the beautiful, deep gray concrete slabs. They were cleaned and preserved, and the electrical installations are clearly visible with white wires on the concrete surface. The severity of this solution beautifully complements the remaining interior space. The contrast of gray, cold concrete with the color of wood gives a beautiful effect.
Wood was decided to use not only as finishing material for the furniture. A simple, ascetic, wooden cladding covers all the walls of a small hallway that brings us into the living room. This finishing has nothing to do with paneling from the sixties – simple, wooden surfaces rather create an image of an unusual box that does not saturate our curiosity and directs our attention to the most important point of the apartment – a beautiful view of the city from behind the panoramic windows in the living room .
On the opposite side of the wooden hallway there is a private, „night” part of the apartment – with bedrooms and a bathroom. This arrangement means that no uninvited guests will violate the privacy of the residents, which is why the architects decided to keep it. The interior decoration is also characterized by minimalism and simplicity. Walls painted in white do not Focus our attention, they are just a background for images and graphics present in any interior, as well as amazing furniture from the 60s. The owners’ collection is really unusual, that’s why the designers really wanted to expose it properly.
This flat is complete. Consistency in the interior design and equipment makes it impossible to find the element that we would like to replace or remove. It seems to us that this is a good realization not only in terms of style, but also its functionality. Of course, your opinion also counts, so we invite you to look to the photo gallery.
If you are interested in cooperation with the D44 office, please visit the website: www.d44.be or contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Agnieszka Gansiniec, Dorota Kozioł