We are so excited to show you the last project from one-of-our-favourites RÄS studio, apartment la Diana.
If you follow our blog for a while, you might’ve seen their amazing design in la Dominique and la Carme apartments. We almost believe it’s possible to tell how great an architectural studio is, simply by the way they name their projects.
La Diana is (now) a two-story apartment, and the challenge for the architects was to link visually and functionally two independent entities: a commercial space on the ground floor and an apartment on the first floor.
Their strategy was based on drilling the existing slab to create a large enough opening between the two floors, in which the stairs are placed.Just like in la Dominique, the stairway in this apartment has almost sculptural character. The stairway tangents the existing wall, and it is fragmented into three parts. The first one is an extended white base with two steps laid on it. The extended part of that base is also used as a bench in the dining area. The second part is light metal stairs uplifted from the base that leads to the third part – a porous platform that goes all the way to the opposed wall, so it acts as an intermediate landing, but it also segments the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen.
The first floor is occupied by bedrooms and bathrooms – it’s the private area of the apartment. Living areas, together with utility rooms, are located on the ground floor. The intimacy issue given by the “groundfloorness” was approached by generating a semi-exterior patio that would act as a buffer between the street and the interior.
Usually, our clients are not too happy when we advise them to give up the “squares of the apartment” in favour of the outdoor space, but this case exemplifies how much these outdoor spaces can be significant!
The ground floor is organized without partition walls, yet different functions of the living area are clearly separated. After passing through the patio, one enters the kitchen. From there, it’s possible to either climb the stairs and step into the private part of the apartment or to continue walking to the living room.
Upstairs, partition walls consist of fitted closets, doors and glass surface above them – to allow natural lighting from bedrooms into the hallway. Old walls are covered with new finishes up to the door hight. With that gesture, space, a little bit too tall for bedrooms, seems smaller. Also, to leave a gap between two elements – in this case, vaulted ceiling and new wall finish – is always an elegant way of combining the old and the new.
Every interior reflects (or should reflect) the owner, as well as context and tradition. RÄS achieves that every time by a flawless choice of materials. In la Diana, architects reinterpreted the traditional terracotta floor tiles and used them in a new, creative way. They enhanced the old walls, their textures and imperfections, and covered them with new materials only where necessary – either to create more comfortable space, especially in the bedrooms or to simplify maintenance as much as possible.
RÄS makes the most out of existing elements and avoids anything unnecessary. The result is a thoughtful and efficient architecture, which is both sensitive and bold and as reasonable as shocking.