Just like some artists upcycle discarded materials, some architects recycle unused spaces. The key, of course, in remodeling a historic home, condo or apartment (in this case) rich in variegated materials and classic construction elements is knowing what to add, what to remove and what to leave as it is – particularly when faced with wide-open spaces that must be separated into livable rooms.
In this redesign, old is clearly different from new and yet there is a complex and lively interaction between the added white partitions,wood surfaces and modern furniture and the existing unfinished walls, exposed bricks and concrete ceilings. A simple ‘white cross’ was added in the center to provide room for contemporary kitchen and bathroom spaces and create a kind of light box to illuminate the rest of the residence.
The small-scale pieces of wood paneling that wrap around the foot of the walls (and up it at points) mimic the tight-knit grid of rustic brick, aged-looked wall art art likewise ties together the paint-chipped structural ceiling vaults and raw plaster, fading wallpaper and rough stonework left as-is or simply varnished around the home.
The result of this careful, creative and one-of-a-kind interior remake by Gus Wusterman is a remarkably rich set vintage spaces with new partitions and modern necessities that do not detract from the variegated textures, materials and layered history of the existing interior – adding new without compromising old.
“We left all the old surfaces in the original state, just varnished them: painted ceilings, painted wallpapers, raw old stone walls of the Gotico and even raw plaster of the new building interventions. The overlay of layers of old and new with light in between emphasizes the lack of hierarchy of old and new. It’s the feeling of not finishing; keeping it urban and letting the process and time be visible that gives a feeling of freedom.”