The upper floors of the commercial and shopping centre, built in the late 1990s in the centre of Murska Sobota, were mostly designed as flats, which are still considered to be among the better housing in the town. Most of the flats on the higher floors have a view of the distant Pannonian horizon, and the open design allows quite free modification of the floor plans and flexible use over time.
One of them, a studio flat measuring just over 40 m2, was converted into a kind of two-room flat, following the approach of involving the people concerned in the design of the living spaces. The result of such a process is therefore always better and more ambitious spatial solutions. The adaptability of spaces is also an essential starting point in the design of spaces. The resulting solutions enable adaptation to different users and functions throughout their life cycle.
We enter the flat from the external communication corridor in the area of the hallway between two new wooden volumes formed by functional furniture elements: new toilets in white on one side and a sleeping alcove in oak on the other. The latter intentionally does not reach the ceiling, allowing the western light of the open central part of the building to penetrate deep into the living space through the windows under the ceiling. The wooden volume of the sleeping alcove on the side of the kitchen and living room hides space for a large fridge and wardrobes, and on the side of the hallway there is a bookcase under the bed and two pull-out storage drawers. A washing machine and a new gas cooker are hidden in the bathroom cupboards on the opposite side, and on the wardrobe side we find a cupboard for storing everyday clothes and shoes. The two wooden volumes are connected and at the same time separated by large, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors; with a mirror on the side of the hallway, they enlarge it, and the eat-in kitchen and living room are protected from direct views from the entrance, forming a kind of wind trap. When you enter the flat from the hallway, a larger, bright social space opens up.
The spirit of ascetic simplicity, with white walls devoid of superfluous furniture and decoration, is complemented only by a few choice timeless wooden chairs and lamps and two elongated sets; a white kitchen set with all the hidden appliances we need in a small kitchen, and a long, low oak bench – for sitting and placing books under – in front of a large white wall that also serves as a projection screen for a movie night. Snow-white curtains made of a special industrial fabric further emphasise the light as an important element of the interior. The structure of the fabric philtres the natural light and creates abstract floral shadow patterns on the surface.
With this transformation, the former studio flat offers a more pleasant, flexible and user-friendly, functional and fresh living experience, a new home to dream in. It gives the flat a new value and offers the owner a fresh start.
Project name: The Pannonic Horizon, Renovation of an Apartment in Murska Sobota Location: Murska Sobota, Slovenia Authors: Tomaž Ebenšpanger (UM FGPA) Investor: Private Type: Residential Project year: 2022-23 Photographs: Janez Marolt