A 19th Century 100 sq m family sized apartment in the 7th Arrondissement (Rue de Lille) of Paris has been newly refurbished to suit the needs of a Parisian based fashion designer and African art collector. The space, although primarily a private residence was conceived to be a social space where the designer could potentially host intimate industry events associated with her profession.
The aim was to create two distinct areas: one more public, with living room, cooking space and guest WC and the other more private, housing a master bedroom with dressing room, a guest bedroom and a private bathroom for each bedroom.
The pre-existing interior partition walls of the flat were removed to create larger spaces in a new arrangement with a clear separation between private and more public zones. The threshold between these two zones is a vestibule, which serves to articulate the plan and to buffer both areas from each other. In order to tailor the plan to this occupants specific needs, the many individual rooms and corridors were consolidated into fully usable open spaces.
Like many Parisian apartments the building plan is arranged around two quiet interior courtyards and thus sheltered from street. The new floor plan arrangement ensures that each room receives a courtyard window offering natural light and ventilation to all the rooms.
One major requirement from the client was that the cooking space would have to be as inconspicuous as possible as she rarely cooks at home. For this reason, the kitchen has been understood as a type of lobby for the apartment and it's positioning is immediate upon arrival.
The first and last impression of the apartment is this entrance lobby showcasing not a conventional busy kitchen but a tranquil collection of textured sculptural objects lit from concealed lighting above and below- a polished marble monolith (breakfast bar), a full-height mirrored mass (guest WC) and a wall of beton ciré (concealed cabinetry).
As a consequence of removing the original partition walls and reimagining the plan, a decision was made to remove the partially damaged parquet flooring. To achieve a new lighter material and spatial concept for the apartment, the original dark oak chevron parquet* flooring was replaced by visually calm single length planks of white washed Douglas fir flooring. The orientation of the wooden planks coupled with the overhead lighting serve as a guide from the entrance lobby through to the living room.
*this oak chevron flooring has been repurposed by the designer in another project.
The mirrored mass / guest WC at the entrance lobby has been partially tiled with Turkish Iznik tiles, creating a dreamy, natural, geometric pattern that, when the sliding door is drawn back, forms part of the material concept and impression of the space that may be seen upon first entering the apartment.
The material concept for the private / bedroom areas differs to the more public areas of the apartment where lightness and reflective materials create an almost neutral canvas. As it is a quieter, more personal realm, the plan is organized to shelter the master bedroom in the deepest recess of the apartment for ultimate privacy. A vestibule serves as a buffer between the two areas and full height doors can either open or close this chamber as required.
The dressing room contains a full wall of cabinetry made of black cerused oak with Lucite handles. Mirrors together with white gloss or white mat tiles with black or white joints and chrome bathroom fixtures easily configure both bathrooms.
The aim was to create a calm sequence of spaces with a refined layout and appropriate use of materials. The apartment offers light, generous spaces tailored to the needs of a well traveled art collector and fashion designer as a platform to showcase pieces from her private collection – a space to host guests on one hand and to offer a calm reprieve on the other.
Plus One Berlin
Reuterstr. 28, Berlin-Neukölln Completion: March 2012 Project in collaboration with johnpaulcoss
The refurbishment of the Plus One Berlin space has the following aims: - To be an alternative to the standard image of a ‘hotel room’ - To be a multi-purpose space that combines different elements and materials - To reflect its surroundings of the creative, raw and surprising neighbourhood of Neukoelln - To re-use and showcase salvaged materials in its design The avoidance of dividers, the search for flexibility and the multiplicity of uses of the elements have been a key point in the design. As the space is small, the shape of the units has been kept simple and functional so they can be used in multiple ways. There has been a particular focus on detail and the materials used.
The main unit can be used as a cabinet for clothes, as a storage unit and also as a kitchenette. It changes its orientation and the shape and type of its openings depending on the relationship with the areas it serves. For instance, it provides shelving for toiletries and towels next to the bathroom, but also serves as a cupboard and storage unit for suitcases at the entrance area. It also provides private storage for the Owner. The kitchen and shelving areas for books are in contact with the main space.
The central piece of furniture is conceived as the bed, but it also creates a bar area with stools next to the kitchenette. There is a container for the third bed which can be divided in to three modules that are three individual seats. Thus, it also changes its shape depending on its position in the space and the function that it is closer to.
The wood bar next to the window can be used as a desk but can also be used as a dinner table on a warm evening: when the window is wide open, one person can sit inside and the other outside.
The 30sqm space has been designed to allow maximum usage. The shape and functionality of the elements have therefore been carefully considered. The use of recycled/salvaged materials and objects (tiles, wood, lamps, door handles) has been another very important factor in the design process. The main unit is a mixture, a ‘collage’ of new plywood and salvaged old panel doors and old parquet floor boards, which have been re-worked and altered to fit their new use.
All the lighting in the main space is either restored brass lamps or custom-made lamps made out of old copper pipes, shaped depending on the spot that they have to light.
The design of the Plus One Berlin space brings together functionality, flexibility and showcases not only the re-use of materials but also how forms and units can be designed for multiple uses. The furniture is not furniture anymore, but elements fully connected by function not only to the space itself but to other elements.
FEED Soundspace · Berlin
Hobrechstr. 65, Berlin-Neukölln Completion: January 2012 Project in collaboration with johnpaulcoss
Weserstr. 48, Berlin-Neukölln Completion: January 2013 Photographer: Ringo Paulusch
Refurbishment of a private apartment in Berlin.
Ed & Fred Nussladen · Berlin
Taubenstraße 14, Berlin-Mitte Completion: December 2013
Photographer: Ringo Paulusch
Design of a nut's shop in Berlin.
Idli Restaurant · Berlin
Wienerstr. 11, Berlin-Kreuzberg Completion: October 2012 Project in collaboration with b3architektur and Berlinform
Photographer: Ringo Paulusch
The South Indian Restaurant IDLI is situated in Kreuzberg, one of the most popular neighbourhoods of the city. The 110-square-metre space was transformed with the aim to reflect the fresh, vibrant, young feel of the area and the warm, inviting nature of South India.
The space is divided in to two distinct areas: a dining area with long benches running alongside each wall, and an open kitchen and bar area. The benches have been made using walnut boards for the back and spice-colored upholstery for the seats.
A wooden wall with shelving is used to divide the open kitchen from the bar area, and also acts as a display area for bottles and glasses. A chalkboard has been integrated in the unit above the shelves, which can be used by the owners as a menu board or for messages. A wooden column comprised of separate boxes provides an additional storage and display area.
The space features a mixture of materials, used to reflect the urban, raw nature of Berlin and the warm nature of South India. Polished concrete has been used for the floor, whilst the walls are made from clay with pieces of straw to reflect the warm lighting. The lighting comes from two sources: cylinder shaped custom-made brass wall lamps and repurposed Indian ‘tablas’, used as pendant lights above the bar. At the back of the restaurant a black and white collage of images from Berlin and South India provides the back drop to a small lounge area for customers.
Idli Restaurant provides a distinct alternative to the traditionally-designed Indian restaurant through its fresh, simple design and innovative use of materials and design elements.
Singleton Whisky Bar · Berlin
Berlin Mitte and Kreuzberg Completion: June 2014 Project in collaboration with SemiDomesticated and Zuloark
Photographer: Bite Club
Temporary whisky bar for the street food event Bite Club in various locations in Berlin.
Postcards | Empuriabrava
Postcard series of the catalan village Empuriabrava.