ALE PREDA | Stepped Volumes Apartment

Project title:  Stepped Volumes Apartment
Location:  Prague, Czech Republic
Year: 2021
Photo: Zdeněk Porcal
Concept: Zdeněk Porcal & Petr Dub

“The stepped-volumes apartment is a gut renovation of a unit in Prague, Czech Republic. The design process and construction took place during the Pandemic, and, as a result, the design team was never able to visit and experience the site physically. The entire process, from ideation to final completion, was managed remotely.

The brief required recalibrating the spaces within the 80 square meters apartment. The original floor plan had only one bedroom, and two bathrooms were awkwardly opening into a large foyer. The unit was in complete disrepair and lacked modern systems and fixtures, requiring a gut renovation. Our solution developed a playful, site-specific architecture deploying “inserted elements” to house new programs, modified the circulation, reused existing elements (e.g. doors and flooring) wherever possible, and introduced interior openings to bring light into darker spaces. All solutions needed to be simple, functional, and cost-effective.

The reason for using a stepped geometry for these “inserted elements” is two-fold. Visually, the steps differentiate the new volumes from the existing fabric. Pragmatically, the formed shelves provide space to showcase objects or for additional storage. The use of color reinforces the distinction between existing and inserted geometries, which are left white.

The apartment is sparsely furnished meeting the minimalist sensibility of the client. Several of the furnishings are traditional Czech pieces.” (Ale Preda)