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Attic Apartment with a Black Box by Komon architekti

Attic Apartment with a Black Box by Komon architekti

Studio: Komon architekti
Author: Martin Gaberle
Contact E-mail: gaberle@komonarchitekti.cz
Social media: @komonarchitekti
Studio address: Zenklova 24/54, 180 00 Prague 8 – Libeň, Czech Republic
Co-author: Bořek Peška, Lucie Roubalová, Jana Drtinová

Project location: Prague 8 – Libeň
Project country: Czech Republic

Project year: 2019
Completion year: 2021
Built-up Area: 141 m²
Gross Floor Area: 109 m²
Usable Floor Area: 84 m²

Photographer: Tomáš Slavík, slavik.foto@gmail.com
Cabinetry: Zlatý řez

About studio

Komon architekti is a Prague based architecture studio founded by Lucie Roubalová and Martin Gaberle in 2017. We are partners and university classmates from the Faculty of Architecture at the CTU in Prague. Together with architects Bořek Peška and Jana Drtinová we make up a small team that allows us to give individual attention and care to each of our projects.

We design projects of varying scale, from interiors, where every detail matters, to industrial halls or public park. Working on different scales doesn’t mean we use different design processes. Always engaging our emotions as well as our rational thinking, we seek singular solutions. Singular in the sense that they are of a single, united idea, where everything is related and tied together. The result is modestly refined and calm.

A good working relationship with the client is more important to us than a big or attractive commision. We listen to requirements and respect means. We expect a similar kind of respect when presenting our designs. Our goal is for the client to be happy with the result. Which is why we consult the design from the first sketch to the last detail.

We are in the attic of a 1930s townhouse in Prague Libeň. An apartment was built here in the 1990s. But there were too many rooms, more than the client needed, anyway. The joy of open attic space was lost in the clutter. Our task was to find it again.

The height is an essential quality in any attic. With that in mind, we open up the living room to create a double-height space accentuated by a tall bookshelf on one of the walls. In the centre of the apartment we insert a new core: a black wooden box to conceal a small bathroom, make up the stairs and catwalk on the second level, while still allowing daylight deep into the entrance hall. This way we simplified the layout without resorting to structural changes.

The open plan kitchen living room is located at the bottom of the two-level apartment. A pull down projection screen is installed between two structural posts in the middle of the open plan room. The kitchen with island has additional storage space hidden in the black box. The second level is more private. Black wooden catwalk above the living room connects the bedroom with a second bathroom. A rooftop terrace can be accessed from the bedroom through a French window.

The material palette is reduced down to oil treated veneer for the black box, oak veneer flooring, and terrazzo for the kitchen worktops, backsplash and bathroom surfaces. White colour tones are used for the rest of the furniture, and white wall paint. The exposed roof truss elements and steel posts in the living room are left bare. Plain linear lighting in the kitchen underscores the raw character and geometry of the space, creating a juxtaposition with the two elegant glass chandeliers in the open plan living room.

The client experienced some changes in his personal life during the final phase of the construction and asked for cost reductions. In an effort to economize we made some detailing changes that wouldn’t affect the whole project. In the end we managed to maintain the original bold architectural concept.

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