The Green Box

in Interiors

Hello,
I hope you have had a nice September!
I love September (read the post about the amazing La Minervetta Hotel for a complete September praise) and I am full of meaningful resolutions for the new year (my head is still set on scholastic years) most of which are based on time and energy optimization.
Almost two years of pandemic have left me and, I suppose, many other people, with a decreased ability of focusing due to the amount of time spent at home in an environment that push you to multi-task and be connected for too long. The book Deep Work by Cal Newport has really helped me to reflect on some aspects of our increasing inability of focusing and pinch down what I want to improve in my daily life regarding time management.

To illustrate with an interior how important is to use your time well, I want to show you a project where the space has been used notably and where a green box has became the focus and the core of the project.
The project by Ester Bruzkus Architekten is refereed to as The Green Box for obvious reasons. As Ester Bruzkus founder of Ester Bruzkus Architekten has explained to us:
“Before we transformed the top-floor apartment into a cozy home for a Berlin couple living a vegan lifestyle, the empty apartment had floor- to-ceiling windows on two sides and exposed concrete walls on the other sides. It was raw and cool and open – and there was something nice about that to hold onto in the new design. So rather than create a series of conventional rooms that would close off the sense of openness, a single millwork box was positioned away from the walls to make rooms between it and the existing walls. The box, lacquered in a deep green, works with warm golds and violets and brown tones to play off the cool concrete ceiling and wall, contrasting materials and colors, and carefully crafted details to make a home that is at once cool and cozy.”
I am very impressed by the choice of the green: it is the perfect shade for such a prominent feature, not ordinary but not too loud either.

“The kitchen takes up one of the long sides of the green box (hidden within is also a roll-out modular sauna!). Sheets of natural green-and- violet quartzite work with the lacquered wood. The cooking island combines the quartzite and the lacquered wood with black-tinted glass, and is covered by a playful and sculptural lighting by PSLab, who provided all of the lights for the apartment. An important detail of the green box is that the ceiling is part of the box and is held away from the concrete ceiling. In this way, the “box” is not just a freestanding object but it makes rooms.

“The kitchen counter, back and shelving are made from natural green- and-violet quartzite. The millwork on the green box is lacquered wood, some of which is detailed to have a strong rhythm of ribs.”

In addition to the deep green of the central millwork are a rich palette of other materials – travertine, marble, limestone, quartzite, glasses of different characters, brass, stainless steel, and rich colored fabrics. Because the owners are vegan, no animal products were used – for example, the carpet is hand-tufted from botanical silks.

The bathroom occupies the space between the green box and the existing wall. Sinks are made from green marbles, black steel and pink basins; the shower and bathtub are made from a pale limestone that harmonizes with the other tones. The design also uses the simple geometry of the circle in a number of ways: in the design of handles for the cabinetry, in an oversized round mirror, and in a circular skylight that was built above the shower.

“The headboard is an exuberant design by Josef Frank (produced by Svenskt Tenn). The bedroom is located between the green box and a floor-to- ceiling glass wall to an outside terrace.”

I love this project. It is functional, elegant and with plenty of personality; these very important characteristics ultimately the most important aspect is how rational is to space where you live. A bit like my days…

(Photos by Robert Rieger, courtesy of Ester Bruzkus Architekten )