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The nostalgia of the great plate. The interior of an apartment in a block of apartments in Katowice

09 of August '22

Large slab blocks evoke a variety of memories and associations. Assembled at an extremely fast pace, the buildings made of reinforced concrete prefabricated slabs were supposed to be, after the war, not only an economic answer to the nagging housing shortage or depressing gaps in the urban fabric, but also a dynamically constructed symbol of modernity. Later, in the 1990s, they were surrounded by a negative aura filled with stereotypes, and in time they were flooded by a wave of modernization in all possible pastel shades.

It is estimated that there are now 4 million apartments in large-panel buildings in Poland, accounting for more than 25 percent of all housing units in the country. In an absurdly expensive real estate market, for many, buying a secondary market apartment in a great slab block is therefore a natural choice. Is it possible to disenchant the great slab?

głównymi bohaterkami wnętrza są surowe, betonowe ściany

the main protagonists of the interior are raw concrete walls

© Grzegorz Layer

Silesian architect Grzegorz Layer faced the task of designing a modern apartment in a large slab block in Katowice. The main assumption of the owner of the 50-square-meter apartment was to obtain an open and functional space, in which the most characteristic features of the block - raw and rough concrete slabs - would be exposed.

okrągłe lustro w kuchni optycznie powiększa przestrzeń mieszkania

A round mirror in the kitchen optically enlarges the apartment space

© Grzegorz Layer

The functional layout of the apartment has been significantly transformed. All partition walls were demolished, while the prefabricated concrete slabs were exposed, further enlarging the openings in them. As a result, the interior has gained a decidedly more open plan, in which individual zones flow seamlessly into each other," explains the project's author.

plan mieszkania

apartment plan

© Grzegorz Layer

This is how the concrete walls - between the living room and the bedroom and the living room and the study - became the main characters of the apartment. Their unevenness and severity is contrasted with the simplicity of the development of bright furniture in the open living area and the whiteness of the other walls. The minimalism of the interior is interrupted here and there by accents bringing out vivid colors or textures that create a cozy mood.

kontrast ścian

contrast of walls

© Grzegorz Layer

In the living room, for example, you'll find a soft, intense blue sofa, a coral-colored designer chair, blue curtains and a light herringbone wooden floor. The kitchen, on the other hand, is decorated with a huge, round mirror that optically enlarges the space, and in the bedroom - a wall built of foxholes.

w sypialni obok betonowej ściany jest także przegroda z luksferów

In the bedroom, next to the concrete wall, there is also a partition made of luxaffers

© Grzegorz Layer

The interior in the Katowice block of flats disenchants the great slab, proving that this seemingly not very aesthetic element, skillfully used, can give a stylish and original effect.

Ola Kloc

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