An artist’s studio transformed into a superb apartment

An artist’s studio transformed into a superb apartment


In 2014, our architecture department was commissioned by the owners of a building dating back to 1911 on the Rue Emile-Yung. The assignment was to renovate an apartment of some 100 sqm located on the top floor of the building, which was one of the very first in Geneva to be built of concrete. With three rooms, and very large volumes with ceilings of up to five metres, it was reasonable to assume that it had been used as an artist’s studio for many years.

We immediately suggested protecting the spirit of the building, which was a fine example of the architecture of the last century. We retained the volumes of the bedroom and living room at the front of the building, which also feature large windows, curved raking cornices and atrium windows characteristic of early 20th-century architecture. Our proposal focused on optimising the volumes in the central part of the apartment and re-organising the layout in that area by creating a mezzanine, offering a new space while benefiting from the existing one. An interesting layout, since it allowed the creation of additional areas: a bedroom, a shower room and a kitchen.

From a style point of view, the idea was to offer a contrast between the original spirit of the building and the renovation of the central part in a contemporary style. The modern style of the staircase and
hardware expresses this intention.

However, it’s not all about contrast, and we have chosen to build a bridge between past and present, through the materials used and by balancing the colour black against the lighter shade of the banister rail. These details echo the design of the decorative atrium window. In this way, there is even more light in the mezzanine.

The end result is a conversion that retains the spirit of the artist’s studio, while gaining in modernity, brightness and living space.



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