PRIVATE APARTMENT IN VINOHRADY
|Prague, Czech Republic
|COLLARCH - Veronika Kommová, Martin Ptáčník
|Vojtěch Trocha, Vojtěch Hrubant
The subject of the reconstruction was a four-room apartment in an interwar period villa in Vinohrady, Prague. The interior and equipment of the apartment were in good condition, but the premises showed that it was tailored specifically for the needs of its previous owners. The original scope of the reconstruction was at first only limited to a small number of adjustments of the existing layout and refurbishment of bathrooms with a minimal amount of interventions, but later it was extended to all bedrooms, the entrance hall and a large living area. The clients, together with the architect, gradually came to the conclusion that it was essential to impress their own style on their apartment, otherwise it would remain "someone else's".
The new interior of the apartment was designed to allow the owners to place and display their collection of art and antique objects, books, sculptures and paintings. The newly reconstructed living room thus became closer to the style of the interwar period salons. The entrance hall became a gallery. The work of the architect focused on creating a neutral functional background with several distinctive elements that represented the interest of the clients in the contemporary art. The sculptor Vojtěch Trocha and the graphic artist Vojtěch Hrubant were both invited to collaborate on the selected interior adjustments.
The fireplace, designed by Vojtěch Trocha as a cluster of stylized timber beams, has become the center point of the apartment. It visually and spatially connected and defined the living room, the dining area, and the kitchen.
A part of the ceiling above the living area was dedicated to a hand-made drawing by Vojtěch Hrubant. A space between exposed ceiling beams was used as a canvas that connected art and architecture into one inseparable element.
All bathrooms are designed as an integral part of the living quarter of the apartment. The main bathroom is seen as a living area rather than a service room. In a spirit of relaxation of the parents as well as the children, the bathroom features a semi-recessed bathtub, whose low plinth can serve as a bench for parents to supervise their kids during the water games.
However, the parents will also be able to enjoy a bath there with a glass of wine after a busy day. The dark tiling together with dim lighting mode gives the room an exceptional atmosphere and will let the backlit stone behind the bathtub stand out.
The collaboration of both artists gave birth to a large steel sliding door between the entrance hall and the living room. An etching by Vojtěch Hrubant decorated its both sides. A massive concrete bench by Vojtěch Trocha became the central element in the entrance hall otherwise decorated with large scale paintings.
It is expected that the owners will add more pieces to their collection over time and add yet more layers and complexity to the apartment.
The selection of materials was largely determined by the existing oak parquets and built-in oak veneer furniture. Some less favourable elements, such as salmon color paint on the walls and the ceiling, mahogany parquets and marble fireplace, were removed from the original interior. The remaining visible elements were tuned to a neutral anthracite (radiators, switches, fireplace grilles) and white (kitchen, fireplace) colors.
The original lighting designed as a grid of recessed spotlights was also removed. The new luminaires are either designed as inconspicuous light sources
(LED strips, small frameless spotlights, subtle black pendant lights above the kitchen countertop) or as distinctive pendants completing the character of the individual rooms (metal coated glass pendants in the bathrooms, living room ring lights, etc.).
The owners of the apartment have thus been able to inhabit the neutral interior scenery according to their taste, experimenting with pieces of furniture of different age, colors, and materials that are close to them and among which they feel at home.