This nearly all-white Budapest apartment is home to a young couple who wanted the interior to reflect the duality of the occupants. Designers Batlab achieved this goal with a unique ribbon-like insert running the width of the apartment. The orange ribbon of medium density fiberboard makes up two separate staircases: a “male” side and a “female” side. Both lead up to the central lofted bedroom, directly above the doorway.

Concealed storage spaces within the zig-zagging orange insert open up behind thin panels in the wall. On the wall of the male staircase, more storage is embedded in the form of several small recessed shelves. These built-in storage elements are customized to the couple’s needs and virtually disappear when not in use.

The entire orange stair assembly is highlighted with a strip of LED lights snaking across its edge. At night, the lights illuminate the apartment in a geometric pattern that echoes the sharp angles of the rest of the space.

More from the architects

“The idea of the two-staired bedroom-loft, which is acting as the accented main element of the flat, was envisioned by a young couple. We were trying to validate design and functionality equally, which resulted in our trying to achieve such consistency and homogeneity that can as well incorporate male and female differences. The placement of the bed right above the door (as ordered by the clients) created a zigzagged geometry that became a ribbon waving towards the corners of the room and as doing so, started to shape and divide the space around it.”

“Sheet metal stairs enveloped in the ribbon form a male side, while the descending ribbon itself counters the former with female delicacy on the other side. This ribbon like ‘object’ acts simultaneously as floor and ceiling, stairs and bed, shelves and hidden storage. Our aim was to compose a homogenous continuous ribbon, which was achieved by using painted fibreboards (MDF) on a steel supporting structure.”