Malfinio: Renovation of an apartment in Bubene? Prague

by decwells
Malfinio: Renovation of an apartment in Bubene? Prague

After five years at Formafatal, the architecture and interior design studio founded by Dagmar Štěpánová, Martina Homolková felt ready to open and run her own studio, which she named Malfinio and which she imbued with her bold approach to design. One of Martina’s first solo experiments was a apartment in Bubeneč, the so-called “little Moscow” of Prague, in the northeastern part of the capital, located inside an early 20th century building.
From her first inspections of the apartment, Martina Homolková quickly realized that the interior still retained some original details that had survived, such as the carved wooden frames or the casement panels. The architect’s decision was to preserve them and keep the link with the building’s history intact. In terms of layout, we find ourselves in a corner building, which overlooks the street frontage from no less than five large windows, including an eye-catching bay window right on the corner. The entrance on the opposite side consisted of a large corridor, overlooking several small rooms, a bathroom, a first bedroom, the sitting room at the back and then a larger bedroom. Other interesting aspects were the potential of the many storage cupboards and the irregular floor plan of some of the rooms, which inspired atypical layout configurations.
The clients, in turn, expressed few and very concrete requirements: they chose cement floor tiles with a star pattern in grey, mustard and beige, they wanted an island in the kitchen with a mirror finish, and they wanted to be able to inserting some existing furniture, including the bed, that they already owned. Martina Homolková inserts them as fixed elements, around which her project revolves, and provides a master bedroom, a room for the clients’ young daughter and allocates some small cupboards as storage space for her toys.
The desire to share that was felt by the family members was translated by the architect into the design of the main space, consisting of a living area and bedrooms. A secondary space, consisting of a corridor and bathrooms, is then introduced. To achieve this net separation, the design has inserted locking partitions between the passage and the living area. The entrance to the apartment now takes place through a less brightly lit area, which simply serves as a passage to a brightly lit space where one tends to spend most of the time.

The passage from the entrance to the first bedroom, which is now used as the child’s bedroom, is closed off with a wall in which a recess has been cut. Another set of partitions was raised to close off the main corridor between the hall and the living room, a bathroom was added and a small separate toilet was created. By knocking down the dividing wall in the middle of the apartment a large living area has been created with a lounge, a TV and bookshelf on one side and a kitchen island and dining room on the other. The master bedroom and the child’s bedroom are accessed from the sides.

By changing the apartment’s circulation, it was possible to enlarge and define more relationships within the main space, leaving the secondary space to the more private or uniquely functional areas.
Based on this philosophy, the master bedroom becomes a kind of extension of the living room, behind the large double door. Given its irregular floor plan and large size, a open bookshelf is placed in the middle of the room, which divides the available space into two parts, one taken up by the wardrobe and the bed, and the other, hidden behind, used as a small study. The bay window is traditionally used, setting up a soft sofa as a bright reading nook. Finally, the central room opens onto the child’s room, furnished with Montessori-inspired elements.
In addition to designing the spaces, Martina also oversaw the selection of all objects, lamps and materials, and was responsible for the custom design of many of the furniture necessitated by the non-orthogonal walls and atypical spaces.
Materials, colors and textures play a decisive role in defining the new image of the apartment. The natural concrete with a rough finish used for the entrance hall walls and for the bathrooms helps to create a dull atmosphere. The mirror surfaces which covers the furniture and the walls, serves as a contrasting attribute d’union. The fumè oak parquet floor in the main spaces is carefully combined with a palette of soft pinks, grays and golds that present an image of refinement and order. Finally, a number of non-custom pieces were chosen as accents, from the sofa to the lamps, while other details, such as the essential bulb pendant lights and round electrical sockets emphasize the importance given to every small detail.

Mara Corradi

Architects: Malfinio
Project leader: Martina Homolková
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Project year: 10/2020 – 04/2021
Completion Year: 2022
Gross floor area: 123 sqm
Technical supervisor of the investor: Petr Klapka
Cement wall finish – selected vertical surfaces, sink cabinet, kitchen
Varnished MDF boards – furniture designed by Martina Homolková
Oak veneer in white/smoky oil – furniture designed by Martina Homolková, parquet floor (solid oak)
Textiles by Studio Geometr – furniture designed by Martina Homolková
Polished stainless steel finish – kitchen island, details on furniture designed by Martina Homolková
Brushed stainless steel finish – details on furniture designed by Martina Homolková
Blue metal – furniture designed by Martina Homolková

Photos by: BoysPlayNice,

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