Two Rooms is a minimalist space located in Minsk, Belarus, designed by Third Wave Architects. According to the bureau head Alexander Zhmakin, this small object was meant to be a display of power and firmness of architectural artistry against poor design conditions. The task was to create a truly unique atmosphere with a high esthetics level for life and work at the 22-square-meter area of typical Khrushchevka building with standard layout, uniform sizes, 2.5-meter ceiling height, having an extremely small budget.
Principal demands to the project were no major transformations and no total renovation of the object environment due to its cost estimate. Therefore the fundamental design principle was focusing on elements, particularly with already-present ones, their reinterpretation, as well as working with typological structures on both interior and furniture scale.
At the planning stage, the design concept provides for functional zoning with separated private bedroom and a public room for work and reception of guests. At the level of coloristic, clear tonality of white background and accent warm wooden material is maintained. This system doesn’t overload the confined space of the flat; it fills it with visual purity and clarity. And what is more important – sterile white surrounding accentuates beauty and naturality of the existing wooden elements: parquet-work, chairs.
In the spatial analysis, enfilade potential of the flat was revealed and became its space framework. This typological structure was expanded and reinforced by the design decisions, in particular: the planning (fore-, background) and view perspective elements composed the enfilade axis. The visual axis on one wall starts with a large fragment of a copy of the painting of Rogier van der Weyden “Portrait of a Lady”, then the furniture standing on either side directs the movement to the door opening forming enfilade. Two round ceiling lamps emphasize the axis and unite two rooms in one structure. At the back of the perspective view, the distant view forms a composition from an armchair and a standard lamp. Window archetype completes the visual axis.
On a smaller scale, each element is perceived in conjunction with another to interpret them as the parts of the general typological composition. Authentic doors and trims were supported by a higher wall base and a ridged bench. Together, the pattern of these components created a new, more expressive wall tectonics. Classic furniture structures are represented by pairs: a chair and a table, an armchair and a small table, an armchair and a lamp. In addition to the existing renovated furniture, the individual design models were designed and manufactured from bent metal pipes inspired by modernist furniture of the beginning of the last century.
Photography by Alexandra Kononchenko