Apartment with arches

First of all the project is interesting by the fact that this is the apartment of architect. He’s been searching for an unusual apartment a long time, considering constructivist homes, stalinkas and other non-trivial options, avoiding only new buildings.

The search took long but in the end, the architect was lucky to find a very unusual apartment in the historical district of Moscow beside the river, with old buildings and small gardens. In fact it was a former communal flat in a terrible state (no repair for more than 60 years!), but since new owner originally planned to rejust everything for himself, this fact did not bother him.

The property repair took a little more than six months. Everything from pipes to floors were replaced. The main feature of the apartment (which made architect eventually stop at this option) are the historic arched vaults up to 4.5 meters high. They had remained since the time when this house was part of the palace wing, built under Catherine II. For over more than 200 years of its existence, the building has been rebuilt several times, but the architecture of the lower floors has been preserved due to the heavy and high-quality brickwork. Because of the ancient walls, the wall-chasing for cabling was extremely difficult, for this reason the wirework is generally open. All old layers of plaster were brought down from the walls to show the texture of the old brick. Old rotten frames and the window sills were put out. New customised windows are slightly tinted from the street side, so that, despite the first floor, the roller blinds are almost not in use. The brick walls were covered with white paint and partly finished in plaster.

Isolated built-in volume is used for zoning – it is typical za bor architects trick. There is a white cube in the living room with a bathroom inside. One of its walls forms a niche, with kitchen facilities, and the other, facing the sofa serves as a screen for the projector.

The project is designed in a minimalistic manner, which had an effect on the choice of materials – they are all selected in neutral colors: white and gray paint for walls, black slate for wet-core areas and a hall, light brown American walnut wood for living areas.

Poor insolation (the apartment is on the first floor) is compensated by high vaulted ceilings that reflect light. The central volume in the upper part has hidden lamps around the perimeter, allowing to illuminate the living room without using the upper light (the lamp is only over the dining table).