Materials and Technologies for Architects – free online version

Space like a white canvas. Pied-à-terre in the center of Warsaw

Dobrawa Bies
14 of April '22
Technical data
Name: Pied-à-terre in the center of Warsaw
Investor: private
Location: Poland, Warsaw
Studio: Studio HOKA
Architect: Karolina Howorko
Photos: Dzmitry Kalashnikau, Karolina Howorko
Area: 20 m² + 9 m² mezzanine
Implementation: 2022

Architect Karolina Howorko of the boutique Studio HOKA treated the space of a small Warsaw apartment like a blank canvas. It can be modified, changing its functions and even its mood. Functionality was the key to the project here. The apartment is supposed to become a base for various artistic activities (for example, a studio), a place to relax while in Warsaw, and most importantly, it is supposed to be easy to use.

Studio w Warszawie

A characteristic element is the renovated, century-old wooden floor

Photo: Dzmitry Kalashnikau © Studio HOKA

The history of the building that houses this studio is quite remarkable - before the war it was a warehouse of a department store. Later it was converted into an apartment: a suspended ceiling was added, hiding its actual height. During the renovation, I removed these additions and opened up the space, which expanded by as much as a meter and a half in height. This allowed me to introduce a mezzanine, and thus I gained an additional nine square meters to the existing twenty meters of space," says the architect.

Through the large windows of the apartment sunlight comes in, illuminating and adding coziness to the whole interior, and the ubiquitous white color not only enlarges it, but is a background for decorating experiments or changing functions.

Przestrzeń kuchni ze schowanymi szafkami

In such a small space, every detail had to be thought through

Photo: Dzmitry Kalashnikau © Studio HOKA

travel inspirations

In such a small space, every detail had to be thought through, so the architect designed the furniture and design elements to serve multiple functions. A big inspiration for the author was her travels. From her visits to Japan she took modularity as seen in the form of a kitchen that can be hidden behind a curtain, and a staircase that has space for chairs, a folding table and storage. The design of the staircase leading to the mezzanine was taken from the design of the staircase of the boat's cabin, while the artistic decorations are the result of trips to Mexico and France. Meanwhile, the paintings displayed in the apartment are by Karolina herself. Thanks to the renovation, the studio space has significantly opened up to the surroundings, and the high windows provide an amazing view of Warsaw.

schody prowadzą na antresolę i skrywają wiele miejsca do przechowywania

The architect designed all the furniture to measure

Photo: Dzmitry Kalashnikau © Studio HOKA

thoughtful space

Convenience was also important in the design. In the lobby, the architect placed plenty of storage space for shoes, bags and long coats. A washing machine is also hidden there. The main space is centered around two large windows, and users themselves decide on its configuration - the living room, or the kitchen with a dining table (hidden in the staircase development). All the furniture was chosen so that it can be easily moved, changing the atmosphere and use of the space. The decoration of the interior is a high cabinet with space for large paintings and mirrors reflecting the sky and daylight coming through the windows.

Gif kuchni

The staircase is also a multifunctional piece of furniture, and behind the curtain hides the kitchen

Photo: Karolina Howorko © Studio HOKA

The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher, an oven, a refrigerator (which is hidden under the stairs) and storage space, including cargo for bottles. The tempered glass used as a wall in the kitchen is easy to clean, and most importantly, reflects and frames the landscape outside the windows.

Miejsce do pracy i widok z antresoli

On the mezzanine is a folding work desk

Photo: Dzmitry Kalashnikau © Studio HOKA

Mezzanine not only for sleeping

On the mezzanine, right at the entrance you will find a large mirror reflecting the sky. Nearby stands a small bookcase and a large closet for clothes. Next to the railing, the architect placed a folding desk for work. There's also a sleeping area with a double bed, which overlooks the inner courtyard and a piece of the nearby park. An important part of the apartment is the lighting design, which allows for a varied effect in the rooms: from moody in the evening to intense light for work time.

Miejsce do spania na antresoli

A characteristic element of the design are paintings by Karolina Howorko

Photo: Karolina Howorko © Studio HOKA

The architect renovated and preserved the century-old wooden floor, and its visual continuation is the tiles in the bathroom. Fragments of resin imitating wood were embedded in their gray surface. The bathroom space also appears larger thanks to the use of mirrors that create an optical illusion.

Różowa kanapa we wnętrzu studia

Light paints reflections on the walls

Photo: Dzmitry Kalashnikau © Studio HOKA

This studio is an attempt to design a new quality of space, which even in such small spaces, will meet the basic needs of the residents," Karolina Howorko concludes.

elaboration: Dobrawa Bies

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