Fed up with their dark home, the homeowners of this duplex in Marseille wanted to open up the house to make it more spacious and enjoy the abundant natural light. By removing a central staircase that divided the lower floor into hard-to-manage rooms, the renovation allows them to enjoy skylights that bring brightness and warmth to the living room, with the architectural features of beams and a floating staircase creating a modern aesthetic and contemporary ambiance.
Simple and chic, this 100 square meter apartment feels laid back, with warm wood tones and earthy textiles. In its previous incarnation, it was shorter and more cramped with the stairs, ceiling and wall partitions closing the space in. Now it has been given a new lease of life and feels much more spacious.
As you can see from this before picture, the ceiling was much lower and a partition sectioned off most of the room. Now, it’s been opened up and the ceiling replaced with a mostly glass structure, giving the apartment new height and light!
With partitions removed, you can get a sense of the release. The architectures from T3 Architecture describe the way that the “glass floors and railings complement the effect of volume, and allow a large penetration of daylight in the very center of the flat.”
A floating staircase was integrated into the wall, with a barely there look that adds to the room’s overall feeling of volume and space.
This photo shot during the renovation gives you an idea of the extent of the project! Partitions and walls removed, beams shifted and a new concrete wall put in. It makes the space feel much taller!
Although partitions came down, it’s not to say that no part of the house remained intact. The ornate cornice detailing in the main bedroom was too impressive and intricate not to be kept, giving the apartment its traditional character. Cutholes through from the corridor to the bedroom allow you to see a glimpse of the molding, with the glazed opening acting as a peephole that can be seen from the lower floor of the living room.
On the upper floor, the glass floor seems to create a floating ledge that connects the stairs between levels. A free area creates an extra lounge space with a thin partition; its odd shape can be attributed to the triangle layout of the bathroom on the other side of the wall, a new addition to the bedroom.
In the second bedroom, a new bathroom was added with a sliding door and a step that mimics the industrial beam from the landing.
In the master suite, a bathtub has been added. With its simple color palette, it’s a calm and peaceful place to enjoy a hot soak.
The kitchen and living room are both on the lower level of the house, feeding out to the garden through French doors.
The open plan nature of the lower level is quite contrary to the initial room layout.
With its sunny interiors and cooling relaxing garden patio space, the Duplex in Marseille really does have some lovely living spaces rain or shine. Would you consider doing away with the central staircase for a floating stairwell? Let us know in the comments! If you’re interested in seeing more before and after home tours, check out this stunning art nouveau jewel of a home in Italy featuring pavilion ceilings and ornate paintwork.
Project: Duplex in Marseille
Design: T3 Architecture
Photos: David Giancatarina