We take inspiration from the early designs POLO Architecture made for the complex before it was built about a decade ago. They included larger units which were eventually split into two for the final plans. In a way this interior design exercise revisits POLO’s earlier intentions for the building.
As the apartment is to be occupied by a couple without live-in children, there is little need for compartmentalising the apartment and creating closed-off spaces and rooms. We can focus on creating an open, light-filled layout which takes full advantage of the available square metres.
We believe this kind of flowing, continuous space demands a strong organisational backbone to organise the open plan into clearly defined zones for different activities. Besides that, we want to provide ample storage space to avoid the spatial experience being compromised by clutter.
Two organising principles
Our concept consists of two major interventions we propose in order to structure the interior design of the apartment.
First of all we introduce two perpendicular axes which run the full length and width of the plan. The long axis connects the different living areas to the entrance, with a window at one end and the guest-bedroom/office at the other end. The short axis links the daytime living spaces to the bedroom. The latter is shielded from view by a vertical timber screen, which allows light from the bedroom window to filter through. By keeping these axes clear of obstructions we create vistas which fully exploit and showcase the generous spatiality of the apartment.
Secondly we create a continuous timber element to the back wall and core of the apartment, creating a strong background which contrasts with the white minimalist treatment of the rest of the space. This sinuous floor-to-ceiling panelling is finished in brushed oak veneer. It snakes around the walls in one long continuous movement, integrating cabinetry, merging into a built-in kitchen at one end and fanning out into the aforementioned timber screen at the master bedroom on the other end. In a playful touch, the insides of the cabinets are finished in green laminate, a throwback to the forested surroundings of the clients’ previous home. Airconditioning units are concealed within this timber wall also — air supply is provided via discreet openings around the plinth of the cabinets.
For the rest of the apartment we aim to provide as subdued and minimal a canvas as possible. We focus on maximising the amount of daylight entering the space, exploiting the available window openings and having light reflect off the light-coloured surfaces which delineate the space: the light beige natural stone floors, the white walls and built-in closets.
In the master bedroom the timber-panelled wall fuses into a bed headboard. Here we find a wooden parquet floor to match the timber wall panelling and create a warm and welcoming feel for this nighttime space. In the bathroom we clad some of the walls in large size natural stone panels which match the stone floor tiles — reinforcing the overall mood of restrained luxury in this most intimate of spaces.
All in all, the apartment achieves a timeless elegance through the delicate combination of a very limited number of materials, which are applied in the service of expressing and supporting the spatial concept of the design.