“My biggest aim in this project is to stay honest, to create a design that remains to live in the future, and not only for one or two years, as all trends do,” quips Ukranian architect Victoria Yakusha. This public space was designed to be a hub of creativity and collaboration, comprising an architectural studio, lecture hall, gallery and co-working facility.
In an interplay of contrasts, unexpected material pairings meet a monochromatic palette. Walls textured in authentic local clay plaster, recreated using a 400-year-old craft technique, act as backdrop to high-tech cold-coated stainless steel and silver metallic upholstery. A pair of giant “stupa,” traditional wooden mortars from the 1800s found at an antiques market, greets visitors at the entrance, countered by a set of modern “Trembita” floor vases, carved from charred wood, that recalls the shape of a Ukrainian folk musical instrument by the same name.
The cavernous meeting room is centered around a massive table, created from a single piece of sandstone. Preserving the stone’s natural geometry, the table’s rough, organic form sets off the delicate symmetry of the brickwork wall behind it, featuring black bricks stacked in a neatly layered pattern. Glass partitions divide the workspace, allowing for the flow of light and flexible use, and essential functions such as bathrooms, kitchen and storage facilities are kept minimalistic for a barely-there presence. Thoughtful choices such as the lecture hall chairs designed entirely from biodegradable materials, work to minimize the environmental footprint.
“I took inspiration in my cultural roots and historical background, when people lived in harmony with nature,” shares Yakusha. “When you take something from the past and make it work for the future – it’s what inspires me in design and what I would like to share with the world.”
Photography by Mikey Estrada.
For more monochromatic palette inspiration, be sure to check out this Chicago home, decorated with a kaleidoscope of black + white.
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