On Gdansk's Granary Island, in the Deo Plaza hotel and apartment complex designed by KD Kozikowski Design studio, Jan Sikora of Sikora Wnętrza Architektura arranged the interior of one of the residential units - a blue-submerged space where one can experience both the atmosphere of a seaside resort and feel the history of a city with international influences.
details inspired by the city's architecture
photo: Tom Kurek
Various elements and solutions meet in the interior, which together create a unique effect - the first thing that catches our eye is the shade of blue, with which the walls and ceiling are covered, another thing that resounds in this space is wood in the form of old oak beams and stylish furniture, and finally brick - one of the most characteristic building materials for Gdansk, reflecting the climate of the city. The whole is complemented by thoroughly modern accessories - a minimalist glass wall between the living room and bedroom, designer lamps or kitchen equipment and paintings by Mariola Jasko and Mariusz Krawczyk.
The interior is full of both modern and more traditional furnishings
photo: Tom Kurek
We talk about the project with its author, Jan Sikora.
Ola Kloc: The apartment is located in the Deo Plaza building on Granary Island in Gdansk, how did the architecture and surroundings influence the interior design?
Jan Sikora: For many years I have been creating some of my projects in my backyard - in Gdansk. For me, Granary Island is a close neighborhood - I drive to it via the shipyard or drop in for a while on a break from classes at the Academy of Fine Arts(the university is located in the historic Great Armory, among other places). In creating this interior, certain things seemed personal to me - like the presence of brick, its color, size, rhythm. Also, the black industrial elements evoke the neighboring shipyard (its cranes are visible from the apartment). Also, the timber with a tooth of time, recovered for this space, is a clear association with the Gdansk tenement. On the other hand, I also wanted to add the lightness of the maritime neighborhood to this interior, hence the contrast of the heavy, historicizing elements with the pure blue of the deep shade.
juxtaposition of blue with raw wood
Photo: Tom Kurek
Ola: The interior of the apartment is directly flooded with the aforementioned blue (shades of blue appear on the walls, ceiling, curtains, furniture and accessories) broken by wood and raw brick. Modern furnishings are also juxtaposed with traditional and even antique pieces. What influenced this choice of colors, materials and textures?
Jan: This composition was created in my imagination. We are currently working on nearly forty projects in the office, and I sometimes like to reserve some realization just for myself - without the participation of other people from the studio. Sometimes it's even the case that the team is working on huge realizations of 5,000 sqm, and I like to "hide" - as here - on 100 m². This was the case this time, the fact of investor's deputation helped, as I had full freedom in the implementation and total control of the construction.
It's true - the result is quite surprising, but over the years it's exactly this kind - authorial and artistic interiors - that interest me more and more. I try not to look at any inspirations on the Internet, I also don't use a cell phone, I live in the woods much of the time, and I write these answers on a hammock. That's where the inspirations come from - from lack of forms, from emptiness, not from Instagram. This is a rather key and non-obvious source of concepts.
Photo credit: Tom Kurek
Ola: On your website you show a juxtaposition of realization versus visualization, it takes a while to find the differences! Is it often the case that so few elements change from the design stage to completion?
Jan: In the case of this project it is indeed almost identical. For this you need a developer who has confidence in the designer, and doesn't keep trying to change something because "he has his vision." This time the owners have lived in the United States for many years and know the rules of the game and the role of the designer well (with them the market is much more mature), there was no "partisanship" on the basis of "you design beautifully, but I know better and am just waiting to show it". Trust and leaving a free hand are key to a good result. So much so, I was able to get involved in the creation of this interior that books about Gdansk on the shelves, flowers in a vase and a list of places "off the beaten track" awaited future residents. That's how I like to design the most, but it's not always easy, because many people want to realize their ambitions (sometimes unhealthy) while creating an interior. Often there is also a game between spouses and, in the case of public interiors, between those managing the project.
living room detail and view from the window
photo: Tom Kurek
Ola: What was the most difficult part of the project, and what are you most satisfied with?
Jan: I am most satisfied that the result is exactly as I planned and that I was able to supervise and co-create every detail personally. The hardest part was "coming back to reality" to many projects, where it is not always easy to have such a model cooperation with the Investor.
Ola: Thank you for the interview.
interviewed: Ola Kloc
If you are going to Gdansk in the near future, we recommend an alternative guide to the city prepared by Monika Arczynska - Gdansk - Monika Arczynska shows you around the city.