Minimalism and functionality in a large-panel flat. This is how the Czechs do it

What do we really need to live? How much mental space is taken up by the material things around us? Can minimalism lead to freedom of mind and spirit? How do we distinguish between functionality and mere desires? These questions became the foundation for the remodelling of a 74sq m flat in a large slab block, which was to become a modern and minimalist retreat for a single mother and her two sons.

The flat’s owner, Mrs H., contacted the architects after seeing a reportage where one of their designs was presented. Inspired by the couple’s approach to space, she decided to put her Prague flat in their hands, giving her a lot of freedom in the design. The main goal was to create an interior that would meet the needs of a family of three, while also being aesthetically pleasing and functional.

At the outset, Ms H. and the architects considered how far minimalism could be taken and what values should be reflected in the makeover. It became clear that it was about material and formal minimalism, an almost ascetic approach to life, the need to get rid of trivial ornaments and the desire to create a space that serves only the most important needs of the family.

One example was the decision to forgo traditional spaces such as a separate bedroom and living room. Mrs H felt that she could sleep on a regular sofa if visual privacy was provided by a simple curtain. The curtain not only separated the space, creating an intimate corner, but also transformed into a projection screen, creating a home cinema. In this way, the living space can fulfil different functions, depending on the needs of the moment.

Minimalizm

The privacy of the sons was also a priority. They were each given their own room with a desk, wardrobe and pull-out bed, which can be used for both sleeping and relaxing. Thoughtful solutions ensure maximum functionality of the space and access to natural light.



A uniform block of white furniture running throughout the flat seamlessly integrates the kitchen, storage space and space for the washer and dryer. This approach created a neutral backdrop, allowing for a free choice of accessories and houseplants. Despite its simplicity, the design is not without individual touches, such as the blue colour – Mrs H’s favourite – which appears in the interiors of the cabinets and cupboards and in the bathroom.

The design also incorporated original design elements, such as the visible joints of the precast concrete panels and the heating system pipe, which are reminiscent of the flat’s original character. Rather than being hidden, these elements have become exposed features of the minimalist interior.

Ms H’s flat makeover shows that minimalism and functionality can go hand in hand, creating a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and tailored to the needs of the occupants. This is an excellent example of how a modern approach to interior design can transform a standard flat in a large slab block into a comfortable and modern home.

Studio: RDTH architekti
Authors: René Dlesk, Tamara Kolaříková
Design team: Kristián Vnučko, Kristýna Kopecká
Project location: Mlékárenská, Prague, Czech Republic
Year of completion : 2023
Useful area : 74 sq m flat plus 6 sq m loggia.
Photographer: Filip Beránek

Also read: Apartment | Interiors | Czech Republic | Prague | Minimalism | whiteMAD on Instagram

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