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Medina Apartment

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Architects: Cxema

Year: 2020

Location: Moscow, Russia

This 70m2 apartment belongs to a young couple who are interested in interior design and art. The apartment’s plan and color scheme were inspired by a recent trip the couple took to Morocco, namely the intricate structures found in Morocco's historical medina district. The apartment plan is consistent with the medina typology consisting of a central “square,” “house,” and “streets” that connect the different spaces.

The living room was inspired by the central square and is the largest space in the apartment. It is surrounded by a solid red wall which can be observed from any point in the apartment. For example, while the bathroom is painted blue, the red wall can still be seen reflected in the mirror. In this way, the red wall is a unique non-verbal object which unites the space through similar light, proportionality, and color.

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Between the wall and the boundaries of the apartment there is a kitchen, storage space, wardrobe, bedroom, and bathroom. All of the spaces intersect with each other; the kitchen flows into the living room which flows into the seating area, and the bedroom and bathroom intersect. All of these spaces can be divided by sliding partitions. For example, the bedroom and bathroom are separated only by a matte glass partition.

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The bed takes up the majority of the space in the bedroom, so the windowsills are used as storage spaces for plants and books. The bed has a large storage space underneath it. More storage can be found in the red wall. These spaces, though painted the same color as the wall, are highlighted with wooden textures. The apartment, in general, features a lot of wood, including the facades of the wardrobes, storage units, radiator sheathing, and the podium on which the bed stands.

The floor slabs were custom-made by casting colorful concrete pieces. This serves a functional purpose, as the design will not fade over time. The living room ceiling mirrors the colors and materials used in the floor as well and contains a circular geometric composition designed by a friend of the architect, artist Yura Pilishkin.

Most of the furniture is custom-made or was found in vintage shops and restored. Notable impressive pieces include a 1960s Miroslav Navratil sofa, a “Luci” floor lamp created by Ferdinand Porsche and restored by Repeatstory, and armchairs and chairs by the Romanian company “Dej” and the Finnish company “Asko.”

Photography: Ivan Erofeev

ArchDaily, Strelka Institute, and Strelka KB have announced the second installment of their joint award for emerging architects. Learn more and apply here by July 30.

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