Open and Functionally Zoned Cockloft with a Balance of History and Modernity

September 24, 2013
Posted in Apartments

11-contemporary home

The Hosts:
Bettina, CEO of R. S. V. Р Company
Michael, President and founder of Indochine Media Ventures, Singapore

Number of rooms: 3
Metric area: 200 m²
Ceiling height: 3.9 m
Number of levels: 2

A house of 1823, in which Bettina and Michael bought a cockloft in 2003, was re-built several times and has a rich history. Originally two-storey, now it features 4 floors. The house is ranked as a declared cultural heritage site. Its inhabitants had its face restored at their own expense.

For their future family nest Michael and Bettina hired an architect Catherine Artukhina (APK Architects). Michael’s ancestors used to live in Russian Empire in pre-revolutionary times, and Russian cultural heritage is not foreign for this couple. Still, their lifestyle, occupation and tastes required a high level of comfort, purity of architectural shapes, colors and texture combinations. So, the architect’s task was to balance history and modernity. The interior décor was handled by Bettina herself.

Among the most challenging tasks were adding the attic to the main living space, integration of the staircase while preserving historical decorative elements (molding, valances), and reinforcement of lift slabs.

A spacious hall featuring a window and stairs leading to the attic floor is an ex-closet zone, which was added to the entrance hall. The half-pace wooden stair is illuminated by slit accent lights of stairs and a built-in LED lamp installed on the top of the wall. This trick enabled creation of a pure architectural shape, which looks more like a levitating sculpture. Such a staircase was inspired by old English houses, in which such designer solutions were motivated by tight metric areas.


The first level (~ 100 m²) used to be five-room, with a kitchen and a bathroom. For the sake of more openness of the space, the new owners decided to unite 3 rooms. The décor is predominantly presented by shades of white color and natural materials (flax, leather, wood), and forms a great neutral background to contrasting details: furniture, lamps and accessories. The interior stuff is a true reflection of the hosts’ past and lifestyle — it includes numerous antiques along with modern items and versatile souvenirs. According to the hosts, the space is a sort of a 3D-diary of their life and voyages. As for the furniture, it’s for the most part European − Flos, Kartell, Vitra, − and the accessories come from England, Germany and Asia.






The other wing of the lodging includes a kitchen and a bathroom. Sanitary porcelain by Duravit and Hansgrohe.






Geometry of the garret space is set by slopes of the roof. Since in the middle of the room the ceiling height is 2.8 m, and on the periphery − 80 cm, almost the entire furniture for this level had to be custom-made.



The geometrically complicated attic level was planned with openness in mind. The architect divided it functionally and visually into a few zones: a bedroom, a home office, a relaxation spot, a walk-in closet and a bathroom. Natural light comes from a dormer window, which affords a great view of starry heaven.




For the sake of preserving the space integrity, zoning was made without a single wall — even the bathroom is not confined. Ceramic granite was used solely for facing the shower cabin. The rest of the walls, which don’t have water contact, were covered with special waterproof paint. Mixing taps by Hansgrohe, sink by Arbi, toilet bowl by Duravit.



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