Renovations can be of several different types, depending on the desires of those involved in the project. Sometimes a complete change is necessary in which case an apartment becomes something completely new with no relation to anything present in the past. Other times a different approach is used in order to offer the users a sense of familiarity. The latter approach was used in the case of the ML Apartment.
The apartment is located in Hanoi, Vietnam and was renovated in 2015 by Le Studio. This is an architecture firm that focuses on innovation, space and the relationship with the environment, applying these concept to all their projects. They have no specific style or philosophy which makes each project unique and different from the rest.
In the case of the ML Apartment, both the clients and the architects decided to not interfere very much with the exiting structure and to only make a few changes. Everyone agreed that functionality was very important for the project and the changes focused on that.
The biggest challenge for the designers was to find a way to include the owners’ living philosophy into the new design and to adapt the space to their specific needs. The client wanted the space to feel like home and not look like a strange space, too different from their previous home to feel comfortable.
In order to comply with these demands, the team decided that this apartment would share a series of characteristics in common with the owners’ previous home. They used a series of items taken from their old home and used materials similar to those present there.
These strategies allowed the designers to offer the owners a sense of familiarity with their new apartment and to give the space a lived-in feeling. This nostalgia was a very important factor in the project, being the decisive element and the inspiration in a lot of cases.
To make the apartment look and feel like a balanced and harmonious space, a few changes were also necessary. Their role was also to make the apartment more functional and space-efficient. Keep in mind that the apartment is not particular spacious in general so the design strategies also had to take that into consideration.
One of the changes made was related to the kitchen. This area was expanded. The kitchen, dining and living area share an open floor plan. The kitchen features an island which ensures a smooth connection with the rest of the social area.
The living space is composed of a modular sectional which wraps around the corner and faces a sleek wooden console and a wall-mounted TV. The wooden floor and a wood-paneled feature wall section allow this area to feel warm and comfortable.
The ceiling in the living and dining space was exposed to show the semi-polished concrete surface underneath. As a result, the ceiling contrasts with the est of the décor, giving the apartment an industrial vibe. At the same time, some of the walls were designed to match the ceiling. The gray window curtains make the décor cohesive even more.
The kids share a bedroom with bunk beds. The room is quite small but feels airy and spacious. It has striped Roman shades on the windows, a light blue accent wall and a wooden floor matching the rest of the apartment. The corner desk offers individual work surfaces of equal dimensions on two separate walls. The master bathroom was redesigned to match the bedroom and together they form a suite. They’re defined by an elegant combination of white and wood surfaces and elements, the overall ambiance being warm, solemn and very stylish.