Luxury and “Smart” Multilevel Apartment of a Ukrainian Businessman: Loft Style, WCs Designed as Railway Containers, a Green Hedge, Two Saunas and a Kingsize Terrace on the Roof

July 18, 2013
Posted in Apartments

The Host:
Vitalis, a businessman

Number of rooms: 5
Metric area: 380 m²
Ceiling height: 3.3-4.6 m
Floor number: 11

Vitalis bought an apartment in the very heart of Kiev four years ago, when the construction works were hardly launched. Arguments for the purchase – downtown location, the Dnieper view, impressive metric area (380 m²) and a roof exit. Planning of the space took about a year, two more were spent on the renovation, and only 6 months ago the owner finally moved in.

Choice of an architect was approached by Vitalis with maximum responsibility: he even invited a dozen of tenders for the contract. The winning bid was offered by 2Bgroup agency, which introduced the interior in minimalist style designed of natural materials.

On the top level the space was left open, without any walls, and the first level included a bedroom, a small study, a library and a playroom. A spacious terrace was turned into a relaxation zone: here the owner takes hot and sun baths, and cooks. A glass pavilion was arranged with winter in mind, it’s equipped with an infrared and Finnish sauna.

The apartment features 4 sanitary units, including an open bath in the host’s bedroom and two WCs designed as railway containers. Thus, a great deal of attention was paid to the water supply system. Individual water purification system enables the owner to use common running water for drinking. The finish is done mainly of natural materials, in some places left were simple concrete surfaces. All the installations are operated by a Smart Home system. Vitalis also took care of good sound: a special acoustic system creates surround sound in the entire lodging.

Specially for installing the built-in Bulthaup kitchen set, brickwork was counted up to millimeters, so that recesses perfectly matched the appliances. A big mudboard includes two concealed drawers. In one of the concrete pillars openings for wine bottles are arranged according to the dot pattern in the word “wine” in Braille script.

According to the design of the building the wall with the stairs has to be a fire-ladder. Thanks to illumination and dark transparent flooring it feels like there is no overlap here at all.

A decorative wall is made of old wood boards, which were randomly fastened and painted white. The boards were fastened together from both sides in order to prevent shriveling and cracking of wood. Decorative stone-shaped padded stools by Smarin are meant for matching the pebbles, which cover the open bathroom floor on the first level.

Lounge ceiling, as well as the pillars, remained purely concrete. False windows on the entresol serve solely decorative purpose.

A lamp, resembling the Luxo L1 from Pixar’s logo, turns the scale at 500 kilos. Its reduced copies are also present in the study and the kid’s room. This lamp along with two searchlights put on both sides of the sofa are responsible for lighting the lounge zone.

An old camera is the architect’s housewarming gift to Vitalis.

A guest’s bathroom and a small walk-in closet by the entrance hall are custom-designed as railway containers from the architect’s drawings. Special type traditionally used for numerating shipping containers has encoded a few interesting figures. For instance, the first one stands for the total weight of all people’s brains in the world.

The green hedge is equipped with a built-in system of automatic watering, which handles the entire perimeter from top downward. On the top the control unit is concealed by cactuses. 24-hours spotlights give the plants necessary amount of light. The lattice shielding the stairs was initially planned to be glass, but in the end the idea was given up: evenings the glass would reflect artificial light and visually narrow the space down. Symmetrical order of grid cells creates the felling of tranquility and openness.

The top level features a fireplace and wooden floor covering ordered from Holland. Vitalis planned to have the same flooring on the first level, but at that point in time it was no longer manufactured. Then the covering was ordered from the Ukrainian producers, who handled a matter with address.

The first level includes a small study decorated with engineering drawings of the lodging. Here you can also see a big aquarium with exotic fish and a flax-upholstered couch. The interior was made with maximum use of natural materials and in reserved color range.


Block work on the wall is made of pieces with beveled surfaces. Such peculiarity provided for random order of laying.

An open bath in the bedroom was one of the major owner’s demands. The option of taking a bath and enjoying the Dnieper view was his special wish. The floor here is inlaid with pebbles. Decorative clips by Adriani & Rossi on the ceiling are utilized as hangers. Most of household articles are concealed in the embedded recesses.


A sanitary unit in the bedroom is also designed as a container. A closet is also located here.


Brutal ceiling beams were left unclosed on purpose. Ceiling height on the first level had to be decreased for the sake of hiding all engineering installations.

A dark built-in cabinet is planned for storing books. Traditional arm-chairs in the library are replaced with colored mattresses by Roche Bobois.

For a seven-year-old son of Vitalis, who sometimes stays with his Dad, the new apartment was equipped with a playroom featuring an isolated bathroom and a closet.



The artist invited for painting the walls was drawing with her left hand in order to imitate the touch-and-go sketches of a small kid. The bookstand can be easily transformed by putting the shelves into different slots. A ruler-shaped carpet was gotten from Spanish designers GAN Rugs, while the shelves modeled as running people were custom-made from the architect’s drawings – their dimensions had to be calculated very precisely, so that they didn’t overlap the other built-in shelves.

An open terrace is closed along the entire perimeter with a thick tough glass. In the daytime one can take here sun or hot baths, and evenings – build a fire in a specially arranged place. White arm-chairs by Gervasoni glow in the dark.


Lamps on the grass are designed as ribbons cutting the space.

In wintertime Vitalis takes sauna baths – an infrared or a Finnish one. An anteroom overlooking the city is furnished with cushioned items and a decorative table by Smarin. The adornment of the wall is a painting by a modern Ukrainian artist Nicola Belous.

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