Architects Edouard Brunet and Julie Duchateau has recently completed the DOM project, a renovation of a typical post – World War II apartment. This 65 sqm flat is located in the city centre of Tours, France. The rather unpretentious and small flat has been revamped in order to maximise the sensation of space and give it more soul.
The flat’s surface equals 65 m2 and the external structure has been kept untouched. The existing building was built with basic materials, hence the medium quality. The heating / water and electricity conduits are visible. Since it was built, the flat has not been redesigned or transformed: the flat is partitioned, as it is usually the case for flats from this period.
The architects first decided to remove all the partitions between the kitchen, the living room and the dining room in order to get one big space. The space takes full advantage of the light brought by various windows pointing both North and East. The architects than set up built-in furnishings, thus giving structure and character to the space.
The main piece of furniture is set all along the length of the flat and divides the various functions. It gives the space its dynamics and desaturate the room. This massive piece of furniture not only hides the boiler, the fridge, the existing conduits but also stage a desk, a library, some storage space and a television corner. The undulation created from the variation in width of the piece of furniture sequences these various zones and alcoves. The room is then open and gives a sensation of space despite its small surface.
Materials and hues
In order to highlight the sensation of space, special attention has been given to the choice of hues and materials. The architects are counting on the contrast effect. The hallway is painted matt black in order to create a compact sensation, in order to highlight the sensation of dilatation and openness given by the main room, painted in gloss white. This room seems to offer even more light despite the small sizes of the windows. This allows to stage the place and enrich the everyday life experience. In order to mitigate the strong visual presence of the kitchen, which is now open onto the living room, the architects chose to varnish the kitchen furniture white, similar to the hue of the room. Furthermore they paid attention to every detail, with the kitchen equipment also being white: cooking plate, tap, cooker hood and sink, giving overall coherence. Light shade birch was chosen to design the main pieces of furniture, bringing a warm atmosphere to the flat.
This project illustrates the great attention to details that the architects Edouard Brunet and Julie Duchateau put in their constant search for smart solutions with reasonable budget. Thanks to a simple design characterized by the warmth from the wood, they manage to transform an unpretentious flat into a cosy and unique place.