This apartment designed by Peter Kostelov in Moscow is a testament to what a little adversity can do for making great architecture.
The fifth-floor Moscow apartment suffered from a dilemma common to high-rise flats: a dire lack of natural lighting. Windows at one end of the apartment were so far separated from the balcony at the other end that the middle of the home received almost no sunlight. To counteract this darkness, architect Peter Kostelov came up with a daring solution.
The apartment totals 110 m² and essentially consists of two exceedingly long and narrow spaces. When all is said and done, the space between the windows located at either end is some 16.5 meters while the spaces themselves are sometimes no more than 2.8 meters in width. So lighting is a bit of an issue.
The solution was the doing away with ‘dead walls’, these were replaced with glass walls enabling the spaces to be lit from both ends and for light to be able to pass through the spaces unobstructed.
The interior treatment with light oak is a design decision which adds both to the aesthetic of the space overall, as well as to the lighting conditions within.
Light reflects and bounces with more vivacity and life off these wooden planks than it would off any whitewashed plaster wall.
The center of the apartment is also elevated, which gives the appearance of a “tube” running from one end of the living space to the other. The elevation helps capture and direct the light to the places that formerly received almost none.
The elevated tube is clad mostly in oak planks, unifying the space from floor to ceiling and, thanks to the light color, reflecting lots of light. The planks extend to form shelves, a desk, and closets in the living room and study.
The linearity of the space is accentuated by the horizontal running of the planks and made to feel… alive- there seems to be no other word that quite does it. Cabinets, closets, table, shelves, bed- these things are fluidly incorporated into the ‘oak tube’ which unifies floor, wall and ceiling. This ‘oak tube’ has a strange calming effect. It just doesn’t feel as if it is located five floors up in a building in Moscow, Russia.