The renovation of a 110 sq.m. apartment on the 5th floor of a residential block in Moscow posed a challenge for the architect, Peter Kostelov. The interior of the apartment was a long narrow space, in parts less than 3 meters in width. With a small window at one end and the other end overlooking an internal courtyard, very little light reached the middle area of the home.

The initial move to solve this problem was the removal of all internal walls and their replacement either with partial walls and openings or glass walls. The central area was raised with a two-step access on each side of the newly created podium, for the living room and study. The entire area was faced in oak wood to form an ‘oak tube’ together with built in cupboards and shelving. A warm light area at once replaced the dark dingy environment, now resembling a ship’s galley, the ‘tube’ at one end culminated in a guest room, complete with oak bed and bedroom furniture, behind a glass wall with conveniently dark curtains which could be drawn to provide an element of privacy when necessary. On the opposite side, the dining room wall was replaced by glass doors which led out onto a large balcony.

Areas in the apartment separate from the tube were fitted with oak cabinets which offered a sense of continuity and coordination as a whole. Smooth curving spaces and openings present a visually interesting aspect to this unusual conversion which perfectly achieves its goal of bringing light into a space for the very first time!