Meeting of history and modernity. Timeless interior in a historic building in Krakow

Ola Kloc
04 of August '22

History enchanted in historic walls creates a special atmosphere of buildings, streets and even entire cities. In Krakow, promoted as a "magical" city, this unique atmosphere can be felt in many corners, for example, on Slawkowska Street , which connects the Market Square with the Planty Park, full of historic houses. Today we will take a look at one of them!

Sylwia Dudek, an architect from Krakow's Polyarch studio, talks about the design of an elegant and minimalist apartment in a 14th-century tenement on Slawkowska Street.

rzut mieszkania

apartment projection

© Polyarch

Ola Kloc
: The apartment is located in a tenement on Slawkowska Street, in Krakow's Old Town. How did these historic walls and the city influence the design?

Sylwia Dudek: The tenement is located in the historic center of the city on one of the streets leading to the Main Square, part of its walls even date back to the 14th century, while it underwent a major renovation in the 1960s. At that time, all of the building's plumbing was replaced, as well as all of the ceilings, which meant that, unfortunately, I didn't find in the apartment the stucco on the ceilings, the herringbone floor, as well as the frequently encountered tiled stoves - the things that give these historic interiors their soul. This was a major influence in restoring the apartment's historic character, but already in a modern, more contemporary form. The result was a bright, somewhat classic interior, the base of which became frame decorative elements on the walls and ceiling and a light wooden floor arranged in a French herringbone motif. They provide a discreet background for modern furniture and carefully selected accessories and lighting.

centralnym punktem wnętrza jest granitowy portal kominka biała kuchnia

The apartment is dominated by bright colors

Photo: Maciej Jeżyk | Oni Studio

: Did the original layout require adjustments? If so, which ones?

Sylwia: The apartment consists of a large living room with a kitchenette, a bathroom and two bedrooms and a dressing room. A major change in the original layout was the separation of two bedrooms from one with a non-functional layout. The bedrooms are separated by a custom-made, partially transparent glazing filled with ornamental frosted glass. It allows daylight to reach the windowless bedroom located deep inside the apartment. The glass, however, is not fully transparent, thus providing intimacy for the homeowners. In addition, the separated bedroom serves primarily as an additional room for guests.

sypialnie oddziela przeszklenie z ornamentowego, matowego szkła jedna z sypialni

The bedrooms are separated by a glazing of ornamental frosted glass

Photo: Maciej Jeżyk | Oni Studio

: The apartment is very high, what difficulties arise in arranging such a space? What should you pay special attention to?

Sylwia: The apartment is 3.66 meters high, so it is quite a lot even for tenement houses :) so I had a huge cubic volume, a space that I had to fill with enough "large" furniture to keep everything at the right scale and create a pleasant place for daily functioning.

Another important element with this height of the rooms was certainly adequate lighting of the apartment and light analysis.

celem architektki było przywrócenie mieszkaniu historycznego charakteru, ale w nowoczesnej formie jasne ściany wnętrza architektka skontrastowała z ciemnymi meblami

The light walls of the interior were contrasted by the architect with dark furniture

Photo: Maciej Jeżyk | Oni Studio

: You opted for bright colors and, to a large extent, natural materials, what influenced such a choice?

Sylwia: I wanted to create a universal interior and at the same time time time timeless without following any prevailing trends, so the entire base of the apartment is in bright colors. Natural materials are noble and will age or wear out very nicely over the next several years. I think this will make this interior still relevant even in some time.

detal zaprojektowanego przez architektkę kominka łazienka wypełniona jest marmurem Calacatta

stone details of the interior

Photo: Maciej Jeżyk | Oni Studio

Ola: The interior is very bright, this impression is enhanced by the omnipresent white, how to avoid boredom in such a case?

Sylwia: As I mentioned earlier, this was an intended effect, against the background of white walls dark furniture and colors are very well exposed, we can then choose those that will attract the eye and become accents in the interior. In this space, in the living area, the custom-made bookcase built according to my design, navy blue velour armchairs, a large carpet with a gradient pattern, as well as the caramel chairs at the dining table certainly catch the eye. Of course, the most significant element is the fireplace portal, which was also made according to my design and is entirely made of granite, it is the focal point of this interior.

także regał z ciemnego drewna powstał według projektu architektki

Also the dark wood bookcase was made according to the architect's design

Photo: Maciej Jeżyk | Oni Studio

: What are you most satisfied with in this project?

Sylwia: From a satisfied client, who gave me a completely free hand to design this interior and gave me a lot of trust :)

Ola: Thank you for the interview.

interviewed: Ola Kloc

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