DUPLEX REFURBISHMENT | LANG BENEDEK ARCHITECTS
Project title: Duplex Refurbishment
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Author/client: Lang Benedek Associated Architects
Photo: Zdeněk Porcal
Refurbishment of the maisonette, which is part of a fifteen-year-old development in Dúbravka Bratislava, was a challenge – growing bigger, since the investor, representing a five-member family, demanded the reconstruction to be radical. Attention and greatest care was therefore devoted to shared spaces, their maximum improvement and even enlargement.
To the common part, a large terrace with an area of almost two thirds of the apartment and originally accessible only from two rooms on the upper level, was newly included by the addition of a gallery. This platform serves as a library and relaxing reading space, as well as a spot of parental control over the space below at the same time. The shape of the bookshelf freely follows the silhouette of a sloping ceiling of the apartment on the top floor. Translucent shades on the upper lever do not obscure, but soften and diffuse the incoming light so that it is pleasant inside, even when a person is tired by the outdoor view.
The central motif of the interior is a soft painting of light and shadow, supported by a visual rhythm – both composed of the materials and colours. The foundation is made of finely tuned surfaces in white, grey, beige tones, such as natural linoleum or wall with a clay look. The carefully chosen counterpoints of the painted calm are the anthracite circle of a slate dining table and two deep-blue orthogonal elements (both pieces by Patricia Koyšová): an artistically treated TV cabinet and a painting on the opposite wall. The effect of tinted-colour tones is also reflected in the subtle woodwork design of the custom-made storage spaces. The maximum use of the entrance hall, the minimalistic design of the closet or the flush-fitting doors in the wall of living room are in the background of the home fixtures geometry.
Vertical spruce slats play here in various situations the role of a décor, railing or cladding, enhancing the height of the maisonette and the verticality of the apartment composition, they represent one of the most expressive aesthetic architectural interventions. The elegant kitchen block, like other main storage spaces, is tailor-made with handle-less push-to-open cabinets and drawers. The aim was to achieve a pure impression of the monochromatic surface geometrically broken down by the gap lines. Black steel joinery of the slats, black lights and lampshades, as well as chairs or the library are then other geometric, almost graphic, inputs corresponding to the clear concept of subtle lines.