House - Bartoskova, Czech Republic
It was once home to office space, was used as a production facility for components of film projectors, radios and electrical clocks, and even films have been made here. Designed in 1924 by Karel Bukovský, the premises of the former ETA Regula factory in Prague now serve an entirely different purpose. The shabby building underwent expensive reconstruction work in 2015 and now boasts a total of 68 flats with various floor areas.
Loft F5.04 is located in the corner of the building. The style of window used by the developer regrettably denied the industrial appearance of the building, which is why one of the goals of Klára Valová of studio SMLXL was to suppress this dominant element of the flat. Another task was to address storage space, which was insufficient for the existing floor plan.
“We opened up the space towards the entrance area as much as possible. This helped highlight the central column that changes into support beams on the ceiling,” explained architect Klára Valová. Their interesting structure influences not only the shape of the flat, but also blends into the design of the floor. “The flooring comprises two different materials, cast screed and wooden boards, which were selected depending on the function of the space. Cast screed in the entrance area and kitchen, and wood in the bedrooms and main living space. Transitions between the two materials run exactly parallel to the lines of the ceiling beams,” Valová added.
The rooms’ airiness is ensured not only by the atypical ceiling height of 3.3 metres, but also by the predominance of the colour white. “The space offered the option of revealing the original reinforced concrete structure, however we wanted to give the flat a clean feel, and used concrete solely for specific elements,” Valová elaborated. One of these elements is the wall behind the television, and another is the island that dominates the living area.
A thin strip of two additional materials runs through them: grey stained wood, and Corian, which is also used for the dining table, complemented by white Merano chairs made by TON. However, this is not the only seating that you can use at the worktop. “As the central point of not just the living room, but the entire flat, the island is enhanced by atypical bar seating in the form of swings,” explained Klára Valová. The black rope from which the swings are suspended can also be seen in the entrance area and the wardrobe, where it holds the rod for hanging coats or other clothing and serves as handles for the built-in closets.
As a contrast to the bright rooms we have the master bedroom and bathroom, where dark colours dominate, supporting comfort and relaxation. “By making minor adjustments to the floor plan, we were able to achieve a wardrobe in the entrance area and the master bedroom, and even create a separate utility room for a washer and dryer,” noted Valová. These inconspicuously incorporated spaces are concealed behind the wooden wall panelling. Their colour and decorative print evoke the look of a shipping container, which harks back to the original function of the entire premises