With love to Alvar and Aino

This apartment in a new suburb of Minsk was designed for a young couple who wanted to create a living space filled with light and warmth. For inspiration, we turned to the works of two Finnish architects: Alvar and Aino Aalto. What set them apart from the cold and uncompromising architecture of their time was the search for materials and techniques that help create a more human space. We sought to bring this sensitivity into our design.

The existing rigid floor plan of the panel house largely determined the zoning of the apartment. Still we took advantage of the little flexibility that it offered to unite the separate toilet and shower into a single bathroom. We were also able to expand the kitchen by giving up the corridor and embedding the appliances into the wall. The kitchen thus became spacious and uncluttered. In all other rooms, it is the furniture that defines the space. The furniture is simple in form, the materials are oak veneer in accent pieces, white MDF and neutral coloured textiles elsewhere, with fittings made of stainless steel.

The white colour of the walls expands the space, filling it with air. Combined with the oak veneer and the afternoon sun, it also brings warmth. The subtle junction between the ceiling and the adjoining walls visually increases the height of the rooms.

Most of the furniture was specially designed for the project, and made by Belarusian craftsmen. For example, the large carpet in the living room comes from Belkin Home. The candleholder in the bedroom was designed by us, Radical Passive.

Project year: 2021
Area: 60.5 square meters
Status: Completed
Photographer: koneneluk