When architects Léo Berastegui and Sabine Fremiot first toured this 141-square-foot residence in Évreux, France, they had been struck by how darkish, cramped, and decrepit the area appeared. “It was completely dirty and broken-down,” Fremiot says. “Everything had to be redone.”
The disrepair was daunting—nevertheless it was additionally a chance for the duo, who cofounded Miogui Architecture, to create a clean slate for somewhat design magic. “Our client is a young investor who was buying for the first time,” Berastegui says. “He wanted something extraordinary for his tenants.”
Berastegui and Fremiot’s first order of enterprise was to intestine the area and reorganize it. “As we do in every tiny design project, we reduced the size of the bathroom and transferred the space to the kitchen and the living room,” Berastegui says. “The bathroom is used very little in a day—the kitchen and the living area are where people spend more time.”
To create a versatile ground plan, they hung a sunshine-yellow curtain at a curved angle to part the lounge from the kitchen and loo. The material could be pulled again when the tenant needs to affix the rooms, or it will possibly shut off the areas for a cozier feeling.
“The curved yellow curtain divides the rooms, hides shelving, and lends privacy for the bathroom,” Berastegui says. “But as the space is small, it also brings some fun movement that modifies the geometry and proportions of the rooms.”
Inside the yellow curtain, a wall made from glass bricks separates the lavatory from the kitchen and the residing space whereas nonetheless permitting daylight to enter. “With the glass blocks, every corner of the apartment is awash in natural light,” Fremiot says.
The architects additionally hung numerous mirrors to mirror and amplify the sense of area, coloration, and pure gentle. A spherical mirror above a convertible couch makes the lounge seem bigger, whereas a triangular mirror stacked on high of a spherical mirror within the toilet gives a way of spaciousness. “The mirrors create a different perspective and help to visually extend the rooms,” Fremiot says.
Berastegui and Fremiot sectioned the kitchen from the entry with a red-painted pillar—which mixed with the yellow curtain and cobalt-blue linoleum flooring references the art work of Piet Mondrian.
“The red contrasts with the yellow and the blue, emphasizing the pillar and its structural function,” Fremiot says. “We always try to work with color in our projects—we’re convinced of its power to affect mood.” Berastegui provides, “The apartment had to be a refuge, a place to escape—the Mondrian color, also used by Le Corbusier in his Unite D’Habitation at Marseilles, is the most rational palette.”
In a playful design transfer, the architects devised a diamond-shaped deal with for the lavatory door utilizing a marble tile. “Selecting an unusual object as the knob abstracts the door and enhances its character, so it becomes a joyful composition,” Berastegui says. “Like with Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, the knob is not a knob, but part of a composition of color and geometric shapes that are intelligible and beautiful.”
The architects developed the door’s slender proportions—which give verticality and a way of added peak—in a lot the identical manner they approached the design for the knob. “The verticality makes the space feel taller and makes for a majestic entry into the tiny bathroom,” Fremiot says.