Not everyone lives – or wants to live – in a house and millions of people are looking for examples of stylish apartment interior design. Across the globe, families make their homes in apartments that are polished, organized and beautiful. HomeDSGN brings you a collection of chic apartment interior design showcasing the possibilities. From contemporary neutrals and modern white designs to warm wood-filled interiors, inspiration for your apartment abounds.
Mitsuhiro Shoji completes the stunning two-level Modern Wooden Apartment amidst the bustling city skyline of Shanghai
By Stefan • Apr 4, 2019
In the heart of busy Shanghai in China, Mitsuhiro Shoji recently completed the stunning and surprisingly serene Modern Wooden Apartment for a young family with an active, bustling lifestyle.
The first thing visitors usually notice about this innovative residence is its size. Simply put, the apartment is very small! In fact, if takes up only 47 square metres, which is a feat even for the more space efficient standards typical of city life in Shanghai.
The main concept that designers worked with in the making of this apartment was that they wanted to build maximum subtle and space efficient storage into the walls and available spaces in order to make a small home feel a sense of spatial richness through lack of clutter.
To make this happen, designers had most of the furniture included in the photos custom made for the space in order to get the dimensions that would work best. This and their carefully selected materiality helped them build an aesthetic that feels carefree and sophisticated all at once.
The primary materials the designers chose were primitive. They stuck to quite natural feeling things like bamboo, iron, and laminated wood. This incorporates some element of the traditional in with the very contemporary city feel of the apartment’s layout. This is actually a combination that is quite typical or urban spaces in Shanghai, but Modern Wooden Apartment takes that atmosphere to an impressive new height.
In the main living spaces, you’ll find wood used heavily. One of the most noticeable pieces (besides the stunning cut wood dining table) is the retracting kitchen door that gives the dining room some privacy and delineation. This is made from slats of wood that slide right into the wall when you want to keep the space open.
Despite its very small space, the innovative little apartment actually features two levels. The first floor is home to the communal, social, and hosting areas while the upper floor features a bedroom and tatami room. Although the company is based in China, they chose to work with the family’s heritage and follow traditional Japanese culture by including the tatami room, which is actually quite typical in the area.
The stunning tatami room, which sits to the side of the master bedroom, might be used to host guests, conduct tea ceremonies, or serve as a sort of home religious altar.
Photos by Kenta Hasegawa
By Stefan • Apr 2, 2019
The beauty of the stunningly fresh looking and very newly finished Oasis Apartment by Lim + Lu might sit partially in its lovely aesthetic, but it’s also largely due to the story of its origins. You see, this impressive new home in Hong Kong, China, was refurbished from an abandoned apartment that was left empty to age and deteriorate.
Taking up 1,200 square feet, the apartment is now a peaceful, lovely haven that looks like the kind of place you might take a vacation in, which is even more wild to think about when you consider that is sat uncared for in the quarry bay neighbourhood for over 15 years before the new designers transformed it.
Originally owned by a man who spent nearly his whole life in the apartment itself, it was abandoned when he suddenly traveled away from Hong Kong, leaving everything behind in its place and never returning. About a year ago, designers visited the site and noticed how it looks as though time had simply been standing still the moment you walked through the door. They remarked to each other that the outdated but incredibly authentic scene inside was reminiscent of an old Wong Kar Wai movie.
In the newly transformed apartment, designers chose to keep a few original elements untouched in order to give the home a sense of unmatched character. Primarily, visitors might notice a series of old concrete beams visibly covered in chipped orange and green paint. These were preserved in their original condition from the abandoned apartment to give it some detailing that simple cannot be replicated in modern spaces in quite the same rustically kitschy way.
The shades of orange and green, long faded over time, create a lovely visual contrast with the pristinely new white walls. They also complement the warm, neutral palette of the wooden walls and details, which are made of oak, and play off the various brass accents that are found in nearly every room throughout the apartment.
In terms of its layout, the apartment is quite open and contemporary. Designers opted for a mixture of materials to offset the fact that they intended to keep some old painted concrete anyways. Now, besides that, the apartment features the oak and brass we already mentioned and also a heavy element of marble. The goal here was to mix old and new through materiality.
Besides wanting to simply make the apartment look nice, designers adored the idea that the home’s story and the act of keeping a few elements in their original condition almost made the very concept of time part of the material palette. The team and the new owners alike found this incredibly poetic.
Outside, the owners are afforded several lovely views of the apartment’s surrounding urban area. In order to give owners something besides a cityscape to look at, however, designers aimed to make the interior of the apartment artistic enough that it might feel like a view as well; one private to the owners’ enjoyment.
This is part of why clear elements of nature have been incorporated into the apartment in lovely ways. Greenery helps to make the home feel a little more like an escape from busy life, taking one’s mind off the hustle and bustle of the city. It also gives the apartment a fresh atmosphere that feels at once clean and sophisticated.
In the places where the most greenery is present, designers opted to include a few additional materials, just to really drive that sense of nature home. Here, in addition to the warm oak you see elsewhere, visitors encounter volcanic slate and woven wicker as well, giving parts of the apartment the peaceful island feel that begot its name.
Photos courtesy of the designer.
Illustrious Modern Apartment created by Corpo Atelier is such a feat of architecture that it borders on sculpture
By Stefan • Apr 1, 2019
In the heart of Vilamoura in Portugal, a stunningly minimalist and contemporary apartment, aptly named the Modern Apartment, was recently finished by Corpo Atelier.
Originally a little, old studio apartment, the space was renovated by the innovative design team to become a beautifully simplistic but fully equipped space that features such a clean visual appeal that its existence practically blends the lines between architecture and sculpture.
The room is very simple; it looks almost like a plain white box upon entering. The first thing that draws your eye, however, is a set of three bright yellow objects that are configured into interesting geometric shapes and placed about the room. Even before it was furnished, these shapes had such a presence to them that the otherwise empty room felt anything but.
Thanks to the bright colour pop of the yellow, the interesting presence of the shapes, and the large window that draws the eyes’ focus towards the far end of the apartment, the room feels almost limitless despite its small size. It also feels incredibly contemporary despite the fact that, if you consider them together from a wider perspective, the shapes scattered about actually resemble elements of classic architecture, like a fallen column and a plinth.
Knowing that small spaces requite surfaces and storage, designers built the shapes such that, beyond their visual functions, they can also serve as furniture. They fully expected that owners would place small trinkets on top of these and store things inside them and on parts of their irregular surfaces. This creates a blending of purpose that seems to suit the home’s contemporary feel.
For additional function, the yellow pieces also serve to delineate space slightly in a wall-less apartment. Of course, the openness of the home is part of the main point, but that doesn’t mean a bit of spatial direction and understanding isn’t valuable. In particular, the yellow pieces mark off the bedroom (which has a stunning panoramic view, the entrance hall, and the central living room.
Photos by Alexander Bogorodskiy
By Stefan • Mar 29, 2019
In the stunning residential commune of Lille Metropolis, in Hem, France, a stylish and professional couple named Vivien and Marion have worked hard to make their very own housing dreams come true. The two have spent several years transforming a stunning loft that started as merely a large empty space into a veritable piece of art.
Designed and conceptualized entirely by the couple themselves, their priorities for the loft were quite clear from the start. One of the biggest challenges was adding a satisfactory number of windows to the solid, already formed space without compromising the walls or foundation because of the materiality and how the house sits. They wanted to be entirely sure that the rooms inside the home would get enough natural light.
Secondly, they wanted to create a space where art is at the forefront. They decided to use colours, patterns, art they made themselves, and locally created pieces from artists they know to decorate the space. The effect is so eclectic and full of personality that visiting their home feels like an actual experience.
To tackle the first priority of the windows, the couple helped themselves out with natural light a little by opening the roof entirely, letting light flow in from parts of the top of the house. They did this by creating a high patio and two terraces, all off ground level, and then installed several skylights and sprawling rook windows in the rest of the ceiling that wasn’t opened up for lovely indoor-outdoor space. Now the sun can simply just shine down on- and right into- their home.
On the ground floor, the rooms of the house are quite open concept, which was intentional. That’s not to say, however, that there’s not delineation of space at all. Stylish furniture and visual art pieces have been strategically placed to make some demarkation of rooms with different functions without sacrificing any space or open-concept flow.
Near the living and dining rooms and the kitchen sits a stunning open patio on the ground floor. This opens fully into the house thanks to receding doors and allows a flood of natural light that keeps the room cool or warm, depending on the season, and allows sunlight to reach every corner of the floor. On the outdoor portion of the patio stands a beautiful olive tree that was relocated from Portugal, where it was originally planted in one of the fields on Vivien’s grandfather’s land. Now, it grows perfectly acclimatized and thriving, like a natural family heirloom.
Although the interior decor and art features of the loft house are quite bright, shiny, and new, the couple purposely chose to keep some sense of weathering in the home’s structure itself. The natural concrete that the actual house is built from was preserved as is, which was beneficial to their budget but also serves a particular contrasting aesthetic. It bears marks of wear and tear that denotes the previous lives of the building, something the owners appreciate.
Visual art isn’t the only kind of creative appreciation in the home. The couple also built themselves a stunning library, which is a favourite space for everyone living there. It houses architecture and design magazines, musical vinyls, and even some stylish vintage furniture, like the LC4 chaise lounge and the infamous Pipistrello lamp. The space is nothing short of inspirational.
The theme of classically designed and mod styled furniture extends into other rooms too, but some pieces were actually created by the couple themselves as well. Much of the art featured on the walls is their own too, or that of their family members. The bright and colourful paint pot piece, for example, was created by Vivien’s father, who was a house painter by trade.
Of course, a “loft house” couldn’t be complete without stunning spaces being created on the actual loft itself! This is where the private and intimate sectors of the house reside. The loft is home to spacious bathrooms, guest and master bedrooms, and a bright, exciting child’s room. An increased touch of warmth is added to these spaces thanks to the way pine wood has been used to cover the original concrete floors that were preserved everywhere else.
The emphasis on fresh air, open space, and sunlight continues near the private loft spaces. The master bedroom, for example, features its own small terrace where the roof opens to the high patios we mentioned before. Here, views of the whole surrounding area twinkle in the sunlight as dwellers sit above their lower patio, on which an inflatable jacuzzi lives.
Photos courtesy of the designer.
By Stefan • Mar 19, 2019
In the heart of the stunning city of Barcelona, Spain, design and architecture teams at META Studio recently completed a stunning residential project in which they transformed an old textile factory into a unique and breathtaking loft home!
In Barcelona’s Gracia district, nestled into the urban, slightly industrial setting, sits the Textile Factory Loft, a project that a pair of the local company’s architects did for themselves and currently reside in. When they originally came across the factory, it wasn’t much more than an empty space with a solid frame for structure, but they saw nothing but potential.
When the main architects, a married couple, bought the textile factory in 2013, it was being used by a painter as a storage and studio space. Despite some natural wear and tear and the need for a good dusting, it was in quite good condition and the high ceilings, which would provide space for a floor of regular heigh and a small loft space, pretty much made the decision for them.
Besides the fantastic space the building offered, the couple were also beyond intrigued by the backstory of its life as a textiles factory before it became a studio and eventually their home. A building with a bit of history always makes for a more interesting project, after all!
The factory was built in the early 1900s when most factories in Catalonia were textile based. Dubbed Frabrica Grober, it was taken over about 20 years ago after its doors closed by artists looking for creative spaces. Over time, the area became primarily residential, so the loft actually isn’t the only commercial-turned-residential property in the neighbourhood.
Despite the open look of the current ground floor, which has a lovely flow, privacy was actually one of the biggest priorities when the loft was redesigned. This is why the public, social, and “day space” is all located in the double height areas downstairs, while the upstairs area is saved exclusively for more intimate spaces; in this case, two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The sleeping area in this loft is afforded a little extra privacy on top of the division in floors because, before you reach it on your journey upstairs, you’re greeted by a small library that sits on the mezzanine. Besides being a relaxing space, the library serves as a sort of barrier between the day space and the quiet upstairs sleep haven in the loft itself.
In terms of decor, the designers chose subtle, natural palettes that suited the materiality and made the space feel cozy rather than cramped where the low ceiling swoops over the loft to make room for the high ceiling in the day space. For example, industrial black metal brace beams are contrasted and balanced with wooden ones inset into the ceilings.
Believe it or not, the loft isn’t actually the highest point in the home! on the rooftop, accessed through a subtle staircase in the further top corner of the home, is a red tiled rooftop patio with a lovely, sunny seating area. This space gets a fantastic breeze and gives visitors a lovely view of the surrounding city.
Photos by Lluis Carbonell
By Stefan • Mar 18, 2019
In the heart of Paris, France, innovative designer and architect Vincent Eschalier has finished a stunning residential loft project that involved transforming an old industrial factory into a stunning home that let the team play with shapes and visuals in a way that contrasts elements of old and new.
Modernized French Loft, which stands tall in the X th arrondissement of the city, was rehabilitated from an old factory originally built and working in the late nineteenth century, when the area underwent an industrial boom. Now, instead of heavy machinery and busy workers, the old building accommodates 17 lofts in total, ranging in size.
The one that caught our eye in particular, which is Eschalier’s own, is situated on the third and highest floor of the original factory building. Being his personal space, this is where many of the architects talents can be seen in the most detail, as he was free to work in his most preferred styles, rather than prioritizing client needs and expectations.
In his loft, Eschalier included industrial influenced elements to stay true to the building’s history, but contrasted them beautifully with natural wooden details, contemporary shapes, and pops of colour. The most notable industrial feature is, quite obviously, the stunning black metal winding staircase in the very centre of the apartment.
Flanked on either side by two matching metal columns, that are both decorative and functional, the staircause leads from the main living space of the apartment up into the loft area. This is where the master bedroom, which is conservative in size but stunning, and a lovely, sunny private roof terrace can be accessed.
The black metal of the staircase is repeated in several angular art pieces hanging throughout the house, as well as some modern lighting options. Not much artificial light is needed, however, because stunning skylights in the ceiling let natural sunlight reach just about every corner of the apartment.
Rather than just sticking to black, white, and natural wood, Eschalier added some colour to the neatly detailed space in the form of carefully chosen accent pieces. The best example of this is the bright, concentrated splash of orange in the living room, found in the carpet, the vintage chairs, the wall art, and the lamp shade.
Overall, the loft has a stunning sense of cohesiveness and harmony between all things old and new. It’s a standup example of how contemporary refurbishments can harness modern interior decor inside without disturbing historical facades, and while also still paying homage to architectural histories!
Photos by Joan Bracco
By Stefan • Feb 27, 2019
In Japan, design company Horma recently got creative with the shape of a small apartment building featuring space efficient units in an attempt to avoid disturbing a stunning old garden that runs down one side. The result was a stunningly organized little renovation that disturbs almost nothing around it but provides a lovely dwelling for those who love innovative layout and living neat.
Comprised of two main towers, this project contains 6 single story apartments in total. A central courtyard connects the towers, giving you access to any apartment no matter which tower you enter from. This lovely courtyard contains a circular shaped wooden deck that gives additional access to 4 of the units by their terraces. These lovely little outdoor balcony areas, one for each apartment, are afforded some privacy by a pretty lattice that separates the building visually from its neighbours.
Terrace access is hardly the best part of the circular deck, however! In the very centre of the circle sits a stunning Japanese guava tree that extends nine metres in the air, making it visible from all common areas and the windows of each apartment. The tree provides the courtyard with shade and gives the whole place a relaxing atmosphere. Benches circle the tree so people can socialize while they bask in its beauty. There are also plenty of planters featuring other fantastic greenery.
At the northern end of the courtyard, where you’ll find in the bend in the building’s L-shape, you’ll also find a centre “core” that features stairs and an elevator. These provide access to all floors and all apartments. Rather than being underground, the basement and parking garage sit at street level, making them very accessible indeed.
In order to retain focus on that relaxing atmosphere establish by the courtyard, the common spaces in each apartment (like the living and dining rooms) face onto the windows that overlook the guava tree. The windows in each apartment’s three bedrooms, on the other hand, face the picturesque street outside. To keep them private and quiet and let dwellers adjust light, however, they are flanked by an inclined facade wall.
Each bedroom in the apartment features greenery and some lovely vegetation by default with the unit. These are built into the facade and placed near the windows, increasing privacy and acting as a sort of natural sound barrier between the bedrooms and the sounds of the street below. The plants also simultaneously contrast and complement that natural wooden furnishings and features that comprise the rooms and storage spaces all throughout each unit.
Besides being afforded a feeling of spaciousness by impeccably organized storage cupboards that retract into the walls, these units feel like they sprawl thanks to the additional features they have access to. Each apartment has terrace and wooden deck access as well as its own balcony or patio, depending on which floor it sits on. Finally, tenants have free use of a lovely private rooftop garden as well, adding a further natural place to escape to for some calm.
Photos by Mariella Apollonio
By Stefan • Feb 13, 2019
In the centre of a Taiwanese street featuring primarily neat, white houses, one homeowner has hired innovative designers to create a home for her that reflects her personality and love for bright colours instead! La Casa de Cathy was created by A’Lentil Design in Neihu, Taipei with the intention of turning a simple home into a happy haven.
Designers could tell the owner and her husband were exciting, eclectic people the moment they met. That’s why they took inspiration from their clients themselves in order to create as fantastic a space as possible, drawing on their love for bold patterns, bright colours, and fun shapes. Designers chose to work freely with colours and materials, making whatever matches they pleased rather than following any strict theme or scheme.
The effect of this wild colour “matching” technique (that purposely doesn’t really match at all) was to create a space that feels vibrant, energetic, and full of imagination. Even amidst what other people might view as colour “chaos”, however, the home somehow feels harmonious in itself. It’s special because it truly reflects and thoroughly belongs to the people living there.
The original home contained two bedrooms, two living rooms, and two bathrooms, but designers had other layouts in mind. After verifying that the owners had no plans to grow their family, they opted to open up some of the spaces and re-allocate the floor plans and rooms to better suit the new owners’ lifestyle. Knocking out a wall and replacing it with a kitchen island, for example, created a cohesive eating, sitting, and storage area that’s neat and simple.
In contrast, designers and their clients chose to keep two separate bedrooms, just in case guests come to visit. In the master bedroom, red and green shades clash beautifully in a way that’s unexpected but entirely pleasant. Light is also a huge emphasis in the bedrooms, making the spaces appear larger and even brighter than they already are.
A similar tactic was taken with the bathrooms; designers kept them distinct but repositions the features inside, re-angling the toilets, sinks, and so on in order to take better advantage of space. As it did in the bedrooms and kitchen-dining area, this repositioning also helps open up the room and make it feel larger and more pleasant to use.
In order to balance all the colour and pattern happening in the house, designers actually did choose one or two elements that serve to ground the spaces and create some pleasant balance. White and light coloured woods are used because they complement every colour in the diverse scheme and some spots of black help achieve a sort of visual anchor here and there.
Overall, the effect of the layout changes, the playful shapes and materials, and the changes in hue throughout the house blends together to make the owners feel at home in a space that was not just custom designed for them, but specifically created to match their very essence. Guests enjoy it too because the aesthetic is outside the norm, making it a cheerful experience for all!
Photos by Chi Shou Wang
Transparent Townhome built in Bangkok by Black Pencils Studio, intended to live up to its name without sacrificing privacy
By Stefan • Jan 30, 2019
Right in the centre of Bangkok, in the stunning and fragrant country of Thailand, a residence called the Transparent Townhome was created by Black Pencils Studio to provide the illusion of an entirely transparent home without actually taking away the privacy needed for comfortable family living.
This project involved the renovation of an old townhouse that had actually abandon for 30 years and was quite run down indeed. The basic frame of the existing structure was preserved from the original, but designers essentially started from scratch besides that. For example, the basic square footage of the home mimics that of the original but the inside and even parts of the exterior were entirely remodelled because the roof and central staircase had collapsed.
Because they were starting almost entirely from scratch, the owners were able to choose their main priority. They instructed the design teams to put a huge emphasis on light. The existing structure was, in local fashion, quite narrow and deep, so they desired bright, natural light-filled rooms to counteract that structure and make things feel a little more open.
To achieve the desired amount of light, designers built a middle segment into the structure that acts as a light-well, cut clear through the newly placed metal sheet roof. Besides flooding all extending rooms with light, this bright volume also acts as a central courtyard, making it a sort of household hub that connects, defines, and separates other spaces in the house all at once.
Within the light-well, a steel staircase links all of the interior spaces that lead off of its central location. This creates great flow throughout the home and makes just about everything easily accessible in a way that feels very streamlined. Most rooms leading off the central volume are similarly open concept and lightly defined, so more closed in areas, like storage spaces and bathrooms, are built into the perimeter frame of the house instead.
Just because the rooms are very open concept, however, definitely doesn’t mean that the family sacrifices privacy all together. Thanks to a series of hidden pocket doors and roller blinds, each room can be closed off when necessary and then re-opened and reconnected with the other rooms and the almost entirely glass facade of the house’s front with ease.
At the front of the house, the goal was to create the effect that the rooms are opened right out into the street, letting light and shadows spill through, without actually preventing the family from seeking solitude when they want it. This is achieved thanks to a series of layered screening elements, including a fence, several different types of shrub, and a series of frames affixed to the townhouse’s facade.
Photos by Spaceshift Studio
Dutch loft apartment, called Loft Buiksloterham, created by Heren 5 Architects for maximum ease and space efficiency
By Stefan • Jan 25, 2019
Loft Buiksloterham is a high efficiency, low impact home created by Heren 5 Architects for total ease in living and bonding!
Located in Buiksloterham, Amsterdam in The Netherlands, this lovely, light wood loft provides a natural looking and smoothly functional space where dwellers can rest, socialize, or bond while living without wasted space or home related costs. The loft is a single-side design, meaning all functional features face outward from one primary back wall. Even so, the dwelling makes such full use of the width its afforded that the space isn’t nearly as limited as it sounds from that description!
Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the loft is the entirely glass outer faced that acts as a door, window, and sky light all in one thanks to its expansive height ad width. Spaces designated for cooking and eating, and therefore public spaces where dwellers might often socialize, are angled such that they can always see a stunning view of the canal outside as they go about their day.
For the sake of privacy, the living areas that would naturally see less social and guest hosting time, like the bedroom, bathroom, and storage area, are located at the back of the house, behind and above the kitchen and dining spaces. In fact, the sleeping area (which comprises the feature that actually makes the home a true loft) is located directly above the kitchen, extending towards the high reaching ceiling. This lets each of those spaces, the bedroom and the kitchen, take up a maximum of space without encroaching on each other in essentially any way.
Because overnight guests are always a possibility, designers made sure to account for their need for comfort as well. A wonderfully soft extra bed can be pulled out from under the “living platform”, or the comfortable area featuring the sofa and seating space. This creates a sort of miniature bedroom below and to the side of the master bedroom loft.
Besides the way that all the living spaces fit together in this loft, which is thanks to an inventive architectural technique based on the concepts of switching and stacking, its beauty lies heavily in its materials. The interior unit, for example, is made from a gorgeously natural birchwood that is surrounded by accents (in the kitchen, for example) or white Corian. Together, the two give the interior of the loft a neutral feel that contributes to its surprising openness right along with the large window facade.
The function of the lofts you see in these photos are the perfect example of the kind of lifestyle the structure fosters. This owner moved into their ground floor loft with his daughter and mother, hoping for a home where three generations might comfortably share a life together without wasting money and space. They also purchased the loft next door so that the daughter, once grown, might have her own space and privacy without being too far or paying too much. Until then, the second loft is rented out to tenants. The ease with which the compact space can be both shared and divided is astounding!
Salariyeh Residential Building created by Heram Architects to provide private but inviting urban living space
By Stefan • Jan 23, 2019
The Salariyeh Residential Building, located in Qom, in the Qom Province of Iran, is a residential project recently completed by Heram Architects.
In order to work with the aesthetic and values of the city itself, the Salariyeh Building was built according to several specific points of criteria and regulation. These fell in line with requirements set out by the municipality based on wider social values throughout Iran. For example, private spaces are very highly valued and open connection between interior living spaces and outer public ones are not generally built.
Rather than letting these requirements limit their design and vision, however, the creators of the Salariyeh Building simply created beauty within those regulations. Rather than building something with no visual appeal that makes dwellers feel cut off from the rest of the world, their designers used interesting but minimalist shapes to create a modest facade for comfortable, welcoming private spaces that really feel like home.
As such, the apartments inside Salariyeh Building feel like a cozy escape from the hustle and bustle or urban life, even if the intention of their privacy is rooted in something a little different than just relaxation. Wooden slats placed over windows, for example, provide maximum privacy without stifling out sunshine and natural light or even really inhibiting dwellers’ view of the world around them.
Those panels and slats are mirrored inside the building’s lobby and in the units themselves, creating a sense of cohesiveness even where the point is really delineation of space. The wood is also in line with wooden panelled ceilings in some areas, giving the otherwise bright and clean looking surfaces and spaces a slightly more homey atmosphere in good contrast.
Despite the emphasis on that ever-important central tenet of privacy throughout the building itself, the apartments inside Salariyeh Building are quite open concept, making them feel spacious and airy. The intent, after all, is not to create a space that is secluded or stifling, but rather one that provides the utmost privacy from the busy world without losing any comfort in one’s home life. That’s precisely what these lovely, neutral units achieve!
Photographs by Deed Studio
Beautifully linear MX581 residential building built by HGR Arquitectos to surround circular Japanese-style garden
By Stefan • Jan 22, 2019
Located in the heart of Mexico City, a recently finished residential building perfectly encircles a lovely Japanese-style garden, creating a beautifully green central focus that feels like a haven in the midst of urban life.
HGR Arquitectos built the MX581 apartments around a circular courtyard that, from the outside, can hardly be detected. This keeps the Japanese guava tree and surrounding greenery blooming there almost like a secret that residents can enjoy privately or share with visitors and friends.
Besides the garden, which is undoubtedly the main attraction for visitors, the MX581 building also boasts a parking garage, a convenient location near the Autonomous University of Mexico, and a series of 12 spacious apartments spread across four vertical levels.
In choosing the layout of the structure, designers opted for a rectangular base shape. This left room for the circular courtyard in the centre, where the guava tree grows. An L-shaped access point, also featuring lovely greenery, leads visitors to the more private area, away from the street.
Inside the Japanese-style garden, residents can sit on benches to enjoy the scene or lounge on lush grassy patches. In the very middle, a pool filled with gravel, like a simple rock garden, surrounds a large planter where the guava tree grows like a featured art piece. Each apartment in the building has windows and balconies facing inwards so the tree’s beauty can be viewed from inside the units as well.
At the front exterior of the building, you’ll notice several porch-like spaces marking each unit. This is where the apartments are built into a back base structure. On the inner side, the balconies surrounding the tree are black and curved around, creating a contrast in shape an experience depending on where in the apartment you choose to sit in order to take in some fresh air.
Continuing the theme of wonderful shared and open concept space, the ground floor apartments also feature semi-private patios next to the inner courtyard. This is where residents can open up their kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms for more sunshine and fantastic air flow, with free movement between the rooms and the social areas.
The inner courtyard isn’t the only place that features a luscious green element in MX581. The side of the building where the bedrooms are situated, away from the courtyard for more privacy, has been planted with various local shrubs. This lets residents enjoy a bit of nature no matter where they choose to spend their time. The plants also act as a sound barrier for noise from the street outside! At the top of the building, penthouse units have access to a rooftop terrace, where the theme of lush greenery can be taken in as well.
Inside the units, MX581’s apartments present a stark but wonderful contrast to both the exterior of the building and their own features. Compared to the concrete exterior walls, the finish inside is a clean, pale white offset by gleaming wooden floors and fine details. The effect is to give neutral, natural atmospheres that play well off the prevalent plant life.
Photographs by Diana Arnau
By Stefan • Jan 8, 2019
Right in thee star studded thick of Hollywood, California, SPF: architects has create a residential project called The Line Lofts in an attempt to facilitate a more community based and social space heavy living experience!
In total, the Line Lots building is home to 82 lovely suites in one of LA’s most active up and coming neighbourhooods. Sitting tall on Las Palmas Ave, just steps away from the renowned intersection at Hollywood and Highland, extending six storeys into the air, making it the tallest residential unit in the area.
Part of the reason the building stands so high is that the plot of land designers had to work with was quite limited at its base. Besides organizing space carefully, the crew aimed to make sure the apartments were particularly well lit. Traditional ideas of standard apartment floor plans simply wouldn’t do here, however, so designers got creative instead.
Scrapping traditional floor plans meant there was more space in the design for more fluid layouts. Rather than simply linking floors to the ones above and below, multi-floor links are built through vertical corridors that let residents skip floors or travel straight up to an open air courtyard on the top of the building. This also gives a visual variation inside and removes repetition of space as people move through the building.
This particular residential project offers a plethora of unique social spaces as well. These include a workspace and wet bar immediately located in the reception, a courtyard pool up top, and even a pool lounge with floor to ceiling glass walls so that guests can get out of the sun without interrupting their visual flow, creating a clear interior-exterior relationship.
The units themselves are also designed to optimized the amount of natural light in each room. In each apartment, walls are primarily made up on the exterior sides of oversized windows with sliding sections that lead to atrium shaped balconies, one for each suite. The balconies are are recessed into the face of the building to create a smooth face that offers some shade.
In addition to space limitations, there were certain budget restrictions that designers had to work with that required them to think creatively once more in terms of materiality. Here, off the shelf products could bring the cost of construction down but selections had to be very unique and specific to make sure things still looked quite custom.
In order to give the facade of the building a little more visual interest, designers made the front facade from a combination of corrugated metal and plaster alternated one after the other to create a pattern that appears animated and flowing of its own volition. This is thanks to the smoothness of the plaster sandwiched between the roughness of the metal pieces with their metallic finish. A cohesiveness with the environment around the building is created in the way the metal pieces reflect the sky at different parts of the day.
On the ground and second floors, the units expand vertically from one to the other, rather than being arranged as single-floor units on each. This lets the spaces appear more open and gather more natural light and also affords the rooms more privacy. Building upwards rather than horizontally accounted for the limitations in space at the base of the building.
ARTE S by SPARK Architects provides guests with a uniquely shaped residential escape and sunshine space
By Stefan • Jan 8, 2019
In the busy urban centre in Pinang, Malaysia, SPARK Architects recently created the visually stunning ARTE S building, a luxury residential building that resembles a spa and pool resort, giving residents a place to escape in the middle of the city.
Located in Jalan Bukit Gambier, near the better city of George Town, this project includes a pair of tall, undulating condominium towers that boast 460 residential units between them. The taller tower of the two is stands 180 metres tall and can be seen off the island from the mainland clearly in the distance.
Bukit Gambir is a lush topical mountain located right at the heart of Pengang Island, which lies off the Western coast of Malaysia. The towers are incredibly unique in the way their facade undulates at each layer. This lovely effect was intended to mimic the dramatic topography of the land surrounding the buildings, which varies between steeply rising hillsides and low coastlines.
Besides just undulating, the towers also appeared layered where the balconies sit. This mimics the mountainous landscape as well, with the graduated terrace effect mirroring the gradient of the rock faces. This effect was achieved using a construction technique called elliptical floor plating, which builders augmented with an added waveform birse-soleil that very carefully, subtly, and precisely rotated each floor a particular degree to give the buildings their twisted appearance.
Besides looking amazing in themselves, the towers are built with the intention of offering the best view of the ocean that one can find anywhere on the island. The taller of the two climbs 50 storeys high, while the shorter rises only 32. In each one, the penthouses at the top are sculpted from the final three floorplates.
On the very top of the highest tower sits a sky garden that incorporates two pebble-form recreational “resident club” pods. In the larger one, up to 60 people can be accommodated for events while the smaller hanging pod is home to luxury jacuzzi. Together the two pods create a wonderfully dramatic visual fro, the ground that acts as a signature for the building while also providing residents with an unparalleled view of George Town and the Straight of Pengang.
Inside, the units are entirely designed for flexibility and tropical living. They are open concept with no beams or poles, meaning they can be arranged in any way and at any time. The units are also specifically designed to bring in light and air naturally, eliminating the need for air conditioning and thereby saving hydro costs. In the common areas, the spaces are naturally ventilated and day-lit as well.
Around the building, several perimeter gardens have been planted at the base. These shroud the residential car park in lovely, local tropical plants that thrive in the area’s climate and would grow nearby naturally. This lovely green life contrasts beautifully with the modern appearance of the buildings and their shape, creating more texture for the eye to take in.
Of course, the pools at the base of the towers are an immediately noticeable primary feature. Their clear blue water attracts the eye and gives off a stunning reflection that mirrors the undulating visual motion of the buildings, enticing just about anyone who sets eyes on them and letting calming shapes set the atmosphere.
Photographs by LinHo
Architecture designs Tribeca Loft for modern professionals who need a place to live, work, and socialize
By Stefan • Jan 7, 2019
In the boroughs of New York City, innovative designers Office of Architecture has designed a stunning apartment called the Tribeca Loft, harnessing the visuals of simplistic living with the unique and swanky style of The Big Apple.
In some cases, living in a “bohemian style” means sacrificing space and embracing open concept past what’s comfortable until things feel cramped or disorganized. In the Tribeca Loft, however, these things are replace by a sense of singular charm and individual privacy. This is partially due to the fact that the loft is filled with natural light and uninterrupted views of the surrounding city.
To some, loft living is quite at odds with the needs of a modern family and their demands for private space and distinct personal areas. Thanks to careful and precise organization, however, all of the amenities of this apartment have been included into an open space that was recently transformed from a 19th century landmark warehouse. Now it’s a cleverly laid out and comfortable new home for a young family!
This apartment was originally built with a much more closed off design, featuring labyrinth-like hallways and small, divided rooms. In this renovation, designers first gutted the loft down to its barest bones in order to open the space up entirely. They kept only the key structural elements and primary service zones (like the kitchen). Their hope in opening the space up was to create a better flowing relationship between public and private sectors of the home.
Now, with the dividing walls removed and more creative structures in place to delineate space such as the wooden entertainment unit, the living room, den, and kitchen areas bask in waves of natural light during the day. Despite having been opened up, however, strategic storage and furniture placement has stopped this new layout from disturbing the peace and privacy of the sleeping areas.
The creative space definers that have replaced limiting walls were chosen for their function as well as their ability to break up the “rooms”. For example, designers differentiated between certain areas using built-in accessories like free standing multi-purpose cabinetry made of walnut, several full-height sliding accordion panels, and even a wet bar.
The overall effect of this loft apartment since its transformation is one of peaceful activity. The atmosphere embraces and axudes both privacy and calm solitude but also airiness and a small emphasis on social spaces for bonding within the home.
Photographs by Matthew Williams
By Stefan • Jan 7, 2019
Smack in the middle of The Arts District in sunny Los Angeles, California, stands a building that’s home to the Art District Loft, a recently completed project designed and carried out by Marmol Radziner.
Within this project, designers altered a 2000 square foot condominium that was originally part of the Toy Factory Lofts. These were a residential initiative created in a 1924 warehouse in Downtown LA’s Art District. Within the alterations, designers removed many partitions in order to combine rooms and create more open concept spaces. One such room combination resulted in a beautiful master suite.
Besides the bedrooms, the living room was also reconfigured and fitted with new casework. Additionally, the kitchen, bathroom, and powder room were all renovated, just to make sure the entire loft got a bit of a contemporary update. Although designers wished to work with a much more open floor plan, they also aimed to create distinct areas for entertaining and socializing, making it easy for owners to have guests over.
Builders chose to create a more flowing and cohesive feeling between the interior of the apartment and the street outside as well. This was done primarily through the installation of stunning floor-to-ceiling windows that are unlike anything the original lofts had featured previously.
In order to keep things open, airy, filled with light, and flowing but also still give different areas a bit of distinction, furnishings and built-in features were used like markers. For example, a custom bookcase made with three bays that rotate 90 degrees each was placed strategically in order to mark the border between the living room and the master suite. When the bays are turned to open, natural light floods both spaces, but turning the case back closes the bedroom off a little more privately.
The existing space is quite natural but industrial chic thanks to the use of concrete. This exposed material is used on the floor, walls, and ceiling, contrasting very well indeed with the inviting slightly more modern interior furnishings designers selected within the space. These are made up of an assortment of wood and metal finishes with interesting textures being prioritized. The contrast softens the space and warms the atmosphere up a little.
A primarily grey colour palette helps to warm the space up as well! Black is also heavily featured to create even more contrast with the concrete and the result is comfortable to look at but also quite streamlined and sophisticated.
Photographs by Jessie Webster
By Stefan • Jan 4, 2019
In the centre of the beautiful Germany city of Frankfurt, a pre-war residential building has been given facelift in order to not just update it but transform it into a piece of veritable street art. Main East Side Lofts by 1100 Architect attracts the eye and plays with visuals in a way that’s very unique indeed.
The Main East Side Lofts are part of a mixed-use building that stands high in a rapidly changing neighbour undergoing several update projects in the last few years. Originally, the building was intended to house a factory, but the design was never completed due to the outbreak of the First World War. Instead, it was used as a hospital first and worker’s housing later on.
In this updating project, designers work with Frankfurt’s Landmarks Department and settled on an acceptable plan that involved transforming the existing building, as well as creating a contemporary addition of equal size. To make the two parts look like a cohesive whole, the new addition matches the original building in volume, rhythm, and proportion but looks as thought that half has been reimagined in a modern language and with much newer materials, creating a beautiful overall contrast.
Now that the building has been finished, the facade makes the cityscape more interesting. Inspired by the original mansard roof, it was conceived and built like a continuous wrapped, meaning that the outer surface of the building seamlessly folds along the height of the structure’s face and stretches upward to form the roof.
On every surface, the facade uniformly features a cement fibreboard with brightly coloured reveals in the window insets that serve as a fun highlight from a distance. The panels of these coloured sections bend to reflect light and capture a range of visual tones all across the width and height of the building’s face. Because of its modern character and shape, this colour popping facade creates a sort of contemporary foil around the landmark structure it was added to.
Because it sits on the harbour, designers also wanted to make sure the new residential part of the building was sound proof and peaceful on the inside. This was partially achieve by careful material choices that help mitigate outside sounds. Acoustical double windows set deep into thick walls, for example, help deflect sound vibrations.
Inside, the apartments are structured like lofts that place a lot of importance of open space and flexibility. Of course, key characteristics of the original historic structure, like the high ceilings and the large double windows, were mimicked in the additional for lovely continuity, creating cohesiveness despite the non-traditional floor plans.
Photographs by Nikolas Koenig