“I highly doubt that this apartment can be turned into a decent home,” said the owner’s relatives. Challenge accepted.
This unusual structure stretches over three different floors, and was originally a strange collection of spaces and odd connections. It has been converted into a unique and well-proportioned home with plenty of big shared spaces and cozy quiet corners.
The owner of this home in Budapest is an innovation and technology professional, with an enthusiasm for dinosaurs. He also just happened to be friends with designer and architect Gaspar Bonta, and called him in to oversee this renovation.
The downstairs was made into a largely open plan entrance-lobby-kitchen-dining room. Between the white walls and floor are plenty of warm wood elements and bare brick walls, giving the apartment a clean feel but with lots of rough and ready elements.
The entrance is welcoming and practical with space to hang coats, enough room for bike storage, and to greet guests.
It was easy to choose these materials, as the wooden surfaces and brick walls were already part of the building. But the concrete table and other iron surfaces throughout the house, like the stairs and on other floors, create a contrast that works well combined with everything else.
Everything fit right into place with the owner’s belongings and personal pieces. The bookshelves, television and art, make everything complete.
I quite like the different lighting options in the kitchen area. As well as sconces that pick up some of the texture of the bricks, there are spotlights that also appear over the dining room table.
This is the first set of staircases in the building, tough and sturdy but still letting plenty of light through between steps so as not to make the room too dark.
The stairs connect to another kind of space upstairs; a living room area. What do you think of the color palette? It’s an easy collection of colors to blend together, to look neither overly feminine or masculine but a neutral urban blend. The heavy beams give strong architectural focus and speak to the heritage of the building.
The living room area on the second floor has sloped roofing, you can see in this picture. It could make things hard to fit shapes in, but the couch slips into place easily as the windows are cut out for more head space.
Another cozy cut out is this funny nook under the stairs. One of the more interesting parts of the project was to find solutions for connecting the spaces over different stories. With a mini set of stairs and this green area, we have a completely separate space compared to the rest of this floor. The bed is single sized but this could be considered the guest bedroom. The space was designed with a nod towards any future renovations; with a simple plaster wall the room could easily be adapted into a children’s room.
As a dinosaur lover it was important to throw in a few elements. It is after all, the little parts of your personality that make a house your home.
Given the number of bean bags and relaxed spaces you can tell this is an area for informal entertainment, much like the Prenzlaurer Berg Penthouse in Berlin.
One of the interesting things about this space is the stairs. The first big staircase is sturdy and constructed with lots of support and strength, set against the bricks. But this smaller one is more intimate and requires a bit more care, as it’s more private and leads to an even tinier space. And its reveal at the top is spectacular.
It’s the perfect spot for an evening barbecue and party with great views over Budapest.
The bedroom has a fairly relaxed style, with a small balcony area and plenty of lighter wood finishes and calming blue colors.
From its complicated start, we can now see a gorgeous home has emerged. From top to bottom it has a lot of industrial and urban styling, yet its hard materials are met with fluidity from area to area, top to bottom. It’s way more than a decent home, it’s a well designed home with plenty of character, great details… and dinosaurs.
Design: Gaspar Bonta
Photos: Bálint Jaksa Photography