Luxembourg based Metaform architecture, designed in 2011 an apartment building where architecture and art are found working in synergy. Located in Cessange, Luxembourg, the apartment building was designed as a collaboration between Metaform architecture and graffiti artist SUMO.
This collaboration illustrates an example of an architecture necessitating artistic reinforcement while at the same time dominating it. Only the ‘predisposed’ and ‘abandoned’ spaces were subject to the manipulation of the artist, who was confronted with the possibility of aesthetic and plastic integration.
The monolithic character of the residence stands out from the neighbouring buildings through materials and form. The project uses the juxtaposition of simple and pure volumes, creating a unique object. “This desire for purity stems from the desire to escape banality and to distinguish itself from the neighbouring buildings”, share the architects. The façade of the building is covered in a shiny black metal. During good weather, the building offers a warm and intense colour that contrasts against the plaster of the neighbouring buildings. During cloudier weather, it appears to blend with the colours of the sky.
The involvement of an artist in this project can be thought of as staging the architecture. The scenic element of the space is based on breaking the existing rules concerning surfaces, because those usually abandoned by architecture are emphasized and acquire particular meaning here.
Given the proximity of the street, the architects designated the ground floor for garage space. On the first floor, an 80 m² apartment with two bedrooms was designated for a family with one child. The bedrooms were set towards the back of the building to provide intimacy and, while the common areas such as kitchen and dining rooms were assigned towards street.
On the second floor, the architects proposed two studios of 47 and 48 m², designed for young couples without children. Because of the narrowness of the space, the only rooms separated by walls were the bathrooms. All other spaces within the apartments were separated through the use of furniture.
The third floor of the building houses a duplex apartment with a surface area of 115 m². The apartment consists of a large bedroom situated at the back of the building, and a kitchen and dining room area towards the front. A metal staircase leads up to a large panoramic terrace on the last floor of the building. Metaform architecture included a glass floor to allow sunlight reach the kitchen and dining room areas that face north.
*All images and information courtesy of Metaform architecture.