Brick, industrial-style elements and natural materials are the signature style of AMJ studio. But this time, architects Adam Jankowski and Kamil Paszek, designing a Poznan apartment for a family with two children, tried to combine urban style with inspiration drawn from Japan. We invite you to read an interview with the designers.
The closet in the dining room was designed by architects
© AMJ studio
Dobrawa Bies: The apartment we are discussing combines industrial elements and brick, characteristic of your style, with references to Japanese culture. Where did the decision for such a mix come from?
Adam Jankowski and Kamil Paszek: We tried to look for unobvious material combinations that would reflect our vision, which was primarily to show the symbiosis of contemporary (urban) style with Japanese culture. The brick was to bring warmth to the interior, while blending well with the red of the graphic illustrations used in the interior. We wanted to further break up the effect by introducing industrial elements, such as anthracite furniture fronts, black accessories, muntins, and a distinctive steel detail in the form of a round rim for a bonsai tree. Do all these elements ultimately work together? In our opinion, the whole came out coherently and has an original expression.
The walls are decorated with graphics referring to the culture of Japan
© AMJ studio
Dobrawa: What design guidelines did the investors have?
Adam and Kamil: The investors asked us to designa functional space, adapted to the needs of a family of four. Initially, they did not have specific requirements for the interior design. While conducting an interview and getting to know each other before starting the project, in addition to writing down basic guidelines for the requirements of the rooms, we also asked about private interests. We learned then that the investors were fascinated by Eastern martial arts and loved to travel, especially those to the country of the Cherry Blossom. It was then that the vision of creating a space with a contemporary design inspired by Japanese culture was born. The idea really appealed to our clients, which resulted in a lot of involvement at the concept stage. For example, the investor chose graphics, which, thanks to a system of magnets, can be easily mounted on the walls and, if necessary, replaced with others from the manufacturer's offer. We liked the idea of this interior element, so the illustrations were one of the starting points for us when composing the whole.
apartment POZ_06, projection
© AMJ studio
Dobrawa: The living area and the part belonging to the parents is more subdued, while the children's rooms are more colorful, what did you follow when designing them?
Adam and Kamil: During discussions with the investor, we decided that stylistic consistency and references to Japan would be our main determinant when designing the living area, parents' bedroom and bathroom. We approached the children's rooms with more freedom, taking into account the age of the young residents and their individual interests. We wanted the character of the interiors, to reflect their gender and age, so the main colors in the boy's room are blue and yellow, while in the girl's room - powder pink and beige. The coherence of the whole, however, can be seen in the details and forms referring to the circle and rectangle. These are shapes that are important in Japanese culture - they reflect in interiors what comes from both the spiritual and material spheres.
The characteristic elements are divisions forming rectangular fields
© AMJ studio
Dobrawa: In the apartment you can see a lot of light wood, attention is attracted by an unusual table and a "grille" of suspended beams on the ceiling. Tell us about the materials used.
Adam and Kamil: Traditional Japanese-style interiors are usually characterized by harmony and abound in materials of natural origin. They focus on earthy colors, hence the choice of white, light wood, as well as complementary colors(blue, red) and brick. In addition, the forms and divisions used there play an important role. A composition of suspended beams on the ceiling delineates the fields referring to the old coffers. We repeated the treatment in both the living room and the dining room. Also, the built-in cabinets were designed by us so that their divisions consisting of rectangular fields bring to mind traditional Japanese interiors with characteristic vertical partitions. We also spent a lot of time selecting lighting fixtures. These hung over massive natural wood tables, are distinguished by a style reminiscent of Oriental culture. Their openwork forms are reminiscent of Eastern lanterns.
The interior of the living area of the apartment
© AMJ studio
Dobrawa: Was this project a lot of fun, or rather quite a challenge?
Adam and Kamil: It was both fun and quite a challenge for us. Without a doubt, it required an individual approach in designing each room. What helped us was our relationship with the investor - full of understanding and shared commitment. We value working with a client who cares about the quality of solutions and originality of the interior. For an implementation to stand out, there must be a certain difficulty in it, which sets the bar high for designers. The reconciliation of functional requirements with the characteristics of a contemporary, yet traditional space, with regard to details and references is, in our opinion, more demanding to achieve than the assignment to a specific, homogeneous style. On the other hand, it guarantees uniqueness and reflection of the investor's lifestyle.
Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.