A1 Architects’ latest project satisfies a Prague family’s lofty ambitions
The concept of humble yet sophisticated luxury is essential to a recently completed three-storey apartment in Prague’s Vinohrady district. Occupying the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of an elegant 19th-century residential building, the spacious apartment showcases the crafty ingenuity of the prolific A1 Architects studio.
Based in Prague, A1 Architects was founded by partners David Maštálka and Lenka Křemenová. Both studied at Prague Academy of Arts and Design (UMPRUM) – their 2009 graduation project, a wooden tea house, was located in the garden of their house. Throughout their projects, the duo have brought a tactile sensibility and Japanese-style approach to space and structure in contemporary Czech architecture.
Inspired by their travels to Japan and their friendship with Japanese master Terunobu Fujimori, the couple use minimal and humble materials to create simple forms, enhancing the beauty of the everyday.
The open plan living area with a decorative stained glass window designed by the client’s uncle
Their three-storey apartment in Prague is one of their most luxurious and cavernous projects to date. One enters the apartment from the middle floor, where the main living room is located. The open plan main living area connects to the kitchen through a moveable wall and the two bedrooms are positioned on the lower fourth floor.
All three floors are connected by the impressive spiral staircase which has a distinctive sculptural appearence, illuminated by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s ‘AIM’ pendant lamps. The highest level of the apartment is an open gallery, connected to a large rooftop terrace by glazed doors.
The architects collaborated with master woodworkers to execute their tailor-made furniture design inspired by natural forms. These elements are accompanied by Czech furniture brand Ton’s ‘Split’ chairs, designed by Arik Levy. An intimate family memory is built into the home through the rounded stained glass window with floral motives, created by academic painter Jiří Karmazín, the uncle of the apartment’s client.