The apartment is situated in an early 19th century residential block off Tverskaya Street. Ivan and Natalia Trofimov, the Blockstudio architects, met their prospective client when the purchase of the apartment had not yet come through. As they recall, “Alexei, the prospective client, was dressed in black from head to toe. Later, we learned that black was his favourite colour. But it took us only a cursory glance to decide that the interior would be very light, airy and totally white.”
“We used to quip that we would be making it easier for the owner to locate his black garments. But joking aside, Alexei is a very meticulous man and the white interior does not look totally white due to reflections from the facades of the neighbouring buildings. In daylight, the walls of the sitting room take on a warm ochre glow reflected from the residential block that the apartment looks out on. The latter resembles the houses of Copenhagen’s Nyboder – a historic row houses district, which we and our client find endearing.”
However, at some point there appeared to be so much white colour that the interior started to resemble a catholic convent school. “It only takes a cross above the headboard to complete the picture”, quipped Alexei. “And that is when we added accent colours – the niche in the bedroom that had been uncovered during the refurbishment was painted midnight blue as were the wardrobe door mouldings,” says Natalia. Moreover, we hung a dark-red velvet curtain to screen the walk-in wardrobe -- our homage to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. To complete the picture, we hung up two mirrors facing each other, which created the effect of an endless red enfilade.”
We opted for a minimum of furniture and selected each piece with scrupulous care looking for clear design, super comfort and compact size. To visually expand the dining room space, we designed a dresser with a mirror that is level with the eyes of a person sitting at the table. At Alexei’s request, the hall was decorated with a copy of Rembrandt’s self-portrait — a famous lithograph had been transferred to canvas by Diana Kustova, an illustrator designer. Also, following Alexei’s wish, a neon lighting signature was made.
“It is great to have a bathroom with a window, but it is twice as great to have a bathroom with two windows and that is what we have managed to fit in as well as a 2 square-metre walk-through kitchen that Alexei had used to refer to as “a kitchen tester” before he started cooking quite sophisticated dishes there. Now he loves sharing his sensation of the lightness of being that he experiences every time he comes home, never failing to comment on how smartly designed and convenient are the vast wardrobes for “his black things”. And we are so happy for him.
But the most interesting feature of this project is that the design has not a single solid wall. The space is zoned out with glass partitions and French doors. “Thus, we have managed to save space and create clarity and transparency by letting natural light into every nook and corner of the apartment,” stress the architects. “The flat has windows looking out on both sides and thanks to that the private and public areas are strictly separated.”
Living room: chairs Hay Soft Edge, the table and coffee table by Dmitry Samygin, wall lamp Flos Foglio, wall lamp Artemide Tolomeo, floor lamp Flos Toio Limited Edition, sofa Joquer, armchair Normann Kopenhagen. Picture by Igor Chelkovski, Alina Pinsky Gallery
Bedroom: wall lamp DWC Biny Spot, table Kartell Mak-Baem, drawer Kartell Componibili. Edgar pendant lamp, crystal oval tumbler. Celling lamp & Tradirion. Wall lamp bocci.
Hallway: Mirror Menu. Stool Zara Home. Wall lamp Michael Anastassiades.
Neon – Homeneon
Technical light Aledo
Window handles Bisschop. Door handles Olivari. Sockets and switches Gira.
Sanitary Duravit. Steel bath Kaldewei. Shower, mixer taps Hansgrohe.
Door handles Olivari. Technical light Aledo
Coffee table by Dmitry Samygin, wall lamp Flos Foglio. Floor lamp Flos Toio Limited Edition. Sofa Joquer. Sofa Normann Kopenhagen, armchair Normann Kopenhagen. Window handles Bisscho.
Chairs Hay Soft Edge, table by Dmitry Samygin, wall lamp Artemide Tolomeo
Mirrоr Menu. Wall lamp Michael Anastassiades.
Neon – Homeneon
A copy of Rembrandt's self-portrait by illustrator Diana Kustova
Sanitary Duravit. Steel bath Kaldewei. Shower, mixer taps Hansgrohe. Door handles Olivari
Wall lamp DWC Biny Spot, table Kartell Mak-Baem, drawer Kartell Componibili. Edgar pendant lamp, crystal oval tumbler. Celling lamp & Tradition. Wall lamp bocci.