This apartment in a late-60s block had hardly changed since it was built, and needed refurbishment before welcoming its new occupants. The prospective owners were instantly won over by its superb view over Lyon where the Saône flows into the Rhône.
On an east-west axis, the original, competently designed, four-room layout was transformed into a liveable, spacious three-room: walls were knocked through, doors taken out, underfloor asbestos removed, walls reinforced, a suspended ceiling and a stretch ceiling installed, parquet tiles laid, a new bathroom fully equipped, a new kitchen fitted, the whole rewired and painted, and built-in furniture incorporated instead of movable pieces. One of the key strengths of this project lay in this feature: the furniture was integrated in the walls. Not only a secretaire and bookcase, but also cupboards, wardrobe and kitchen were exploited to delimit the space and give it a strong identity.
The secretaire desk hides multiple functions: wardrobe, storage unit, service cupboard, display shelves, and -true to its name- a secret cabinet. It separates the living-room from the hall, thus favouring the view over the city. This cuboid may look simply conceived at first sight; however, it clings to a concrete pillar from which it opens and shuts, twists and turns, swings and slides to bring up a whole complex of functions. It is composed of a hidden framework of multi-layered plywood of unrolled ROLPIN® maritime pine, which is covered on its 5 external sides with 3-layer panels of TILLY® solid oak; all the wood is oiled.
The bookcase, also made of 3-layer panels of TILLY® solid oak, turns on the angle of two walls. Its simplicity and the invisible joins of studs and cross members reveal all the cunning and beauty of the material.
The doors, of the built-in units as well as the rooms, constitute two sets that emerge in total harmony, their function discreetly revealed only by their handles. The bedroom's great depth is exploited to fit out a dressing room: a volume in black, as though extracted from the main space of the sleeping area. All the elements specified above were also used for the U-shaped kitchen. Stainless steel counters and splashbacks announce the wish for a degree of practicality.
In the bathroom, the black tiled floor, polished black ceramic wall tiles, showerscreen in white émalit® glass, stretched luminous translucent white ceiling, large mirror, and white bowl, play with the reflections and depths of the finishes of the various materials, multiplying and dissipating the limits of the space.