Bolshaya Ordynka

We were thrilled with the prospects for interesting reconstruction and architectural conversion of this apartment when we chose it. The Ordynka apartment house was built in 1905. Along with huge windows and high ceilings we found rounded walls on both sides of the entrance door. One of these walls used to host a Falconnier glass bricks window which opened to the backstairs and let the daylight in to the entry hall of the apartment. We cleaned paint off the glass bricks, thus restoring the original concept of the architect.At the same time we re-purposed the second wall niche which now hosts spacious built-in cabinets. We thoroughly re-designed the rest of the apartment, too. With the area of just 72 square meters, it accommodates 4 people. This is why every square centimeter should be put to good use.

Year: 2012

Country: Russia

City: Moscow

Space: 72 sq.m.

The project is loaded with interesting ergonomic designs. The spacious living room takes up the bigger part of the apartment. It includes the dining area, a kitchen and an office. A whole lot of the kitchen equipment, the tableware and thousands of small kitchen utensils are cached behind the glossy doors of the built-in cabinets and deep in the kitchen island table. You will never find a kettle here but you can get some boiling water straight from a dedicated tap. The boiler is installed under the sink and the water filter is built in the wall separating the living area from the bedroom.

The office looks quite crisp but it is also full of secrets. The digital audio and video units were placed inside the cabinets, and numerous cables were buried in the wall and in the floor. The washing machine was cached close to the exit to the now closed backstairs. Old time windows also received a new look. Windowsills gave way to comfortable sofas. The walls are thick enough for that here! We freed the open living room / dining room / kitchen of everything we don’t really need. You can see nothing but a kitchen table with chairs and a cabinet here. The cabinet is an art object separating the living room from the entry hall. The cabinet stands in the way of anyone who wants to enter the living room. You have to go around it on the right or on the left. We borrowed this ancient idea from the traditional interiors in the South-East Asia. They often install a sacred guardian sculpture to partition the living area. This sculpture is meant to drive evil spirits away. We used our own totem sculpture in Moscow which is a Provasi art cabinet with a lot of secret compartments.

The airy living room opens up into four small rooms which are the bathroom, the master bedroom, the son’s and the daughter’s bedrooms. The four doors are strictly symmetrical. You go out of these rooms into the big living room for a good reason. When you have to do it all the time, you don’t feel locked up and cramped for space in your own small room. We used minimum area to accommodate everything we need. The former kitchen became the master bedroom and the bathroom. We re-purposed even the former cold-storage into a wardrobe room.

We came forward with a particularly peculiar solution for the kids’ bedrooms. The division wall hosted the storage area and a bunk bed. Kids love this unusual configuration and secret corners.

We didn’t want to re-invent the style here. The apartment house with its 100 years old façade and the unique environment of the Bolshoy Ordynka area showed us the right direction. We introduced plaster cornices, panel framed doors, herringbone parquet floor and an antique fireplace. Plaster medallions from the Klimenkoff Russian Porcelain Studio decorate the kitchen wall. They are based on the medallions you can see at the Dynamo metro station in Moscow. We used a perfect chance to get first-hand knowledge of many tricks we used later when we designed other interiors. For example, we used wallpaper in our bathroom and it never went off. Modern plastic chairs look appealing to us and our guests. And a lamp by Ingo Maurer is perfect for our bedroom.