The client was a family of four with young children. The parents are avid art collectors and one of the challenges faced was to design a gallery within the flat for the collection of paintings and objects, in addition to creating suitable family conditions in the living and dining rooms, balcony and library, the latter which would also house some of the art collection. In addition, the end result had to be functional, elegant and of the highest standards.
The flat featured somewhat ornate, neo-classical finishes, with painted plaster columns, plaster door frames and ceilings with moulded and painted arabesque patterns, as well as certain special decorative elements, such as marble-topped bar and walls covered in mirrors and marble, etc. The layout was also very fragmented, practically labyrinth-like. Despite the client's intent on adopting a contemporary design project, there was a careful selection of how these elements were to be treated and which were to demolished, preserved or transformed. The preservation of certain finishes was financially advantageous, but also injected a playful essence whereby traces of the residence's history appear within a new context - almost a game between the various occupations experienced by the physical space. As regards the layout, a choice was made to eliminate the existing excessive compartmentalisation, creating ample environments that can be organically and easily read.
To create the gallery for the family's exhibition, the pantry was demolished and the kitchen realigned, expanding the corridor between the lobby and social area to just under three metres in width. The solid walls in the elevator hall were also demolished and replaced by two large sliding glass doors, which can be left completely open, integrating the lobby and gallery, and allowing for a greater field of view between the two corridors. The wall separating the living room and bar was also demolished to grant the social area more space, as well as expand the surface of the gallery wall, which confers visual continuity to the items and visually links the two balconies, in addition to allowing more light inside. Another sliding door was introduced, this one along the wall separating the living and dining rooms, connecting the spaces and expanding the living area when left open.
The family's quarters saw an increase in space and light with the removal of some walls and the replacement of others by glass or low walls. Walk-in closets and fitted wardrobes were designed for each bedroom and the back of the wing housing the main bedroom was isolated to create a corridor leading to two walk-in closets, the bedroom and a bathroom with marble finishes, his and her washbasins, a separate toilet, Jacuzzi and shower/sauna. The children's bedrooms comprised two en suites with separate entrances and a toy room between them that can also open up to the corridor, through sliding panels, thus providing a visual connection with the private home theatre/living room. The mother of the family also gained an office.
All of the apartment's bathrooms, with the exception of the toilet, were completely renovated, with new layouts, finishes, metal- and porcelain ware. Mosaic tiles were chosen for the finish.
The interior design project included a number of special projects, such as the wine cellar, which features custom brickwork and separate conditioning, and the library, which also required detailed, specialist brickwork for all its walls, as well as the walk-in closets, private living room shelves and office furniture. A consultant specialising in multimedia was hired to assist in the designs of a pull-down screen between the bar and living room, and the entire apartment was automated, which required a separate design project. The kitchen layout was entirely redone as part of the interior design project, including a pantry area. The implementation and furnishings were developed by a specialist firm.
The colours and finishes were chosen from neutral tones to help give emphasis to and highlight the works of art. The social area, including the balconies and hallway, features pebbled Granilite flooring while the bedrooms have fitted carpets and the toy room, a resin coating. The ceilings are in plaster, with coving and inset lighting. A separate lighting design project was developed for the living room and gallery areas.