Replus bureau rethinks traditional Hutsulian ethnic style with a modern twist in Lviv apartment
Replus design bureau redesigned and refurbished the Guculska apartment, an old apartment in a historical building in the heart of Lviv, Ukraine.
“The building itself was constructed in 1892-1896, so our project designers decided to keep everything that survived in a good condition from those times. Keeping authentic parts and adding some new ethnic elements created a sense of time, highlighting the modern aspects of this space. From the very beginning we were limited by extremely narrow and long rooms, therefore our major goal was to create a sense of extra space by means of mirrors and right furniture positioning. The apartment was in a sorry state, hence the cracked ceilings in the kitchen and in the living room had to be removed. Above those ceilings we discovered old wooden beams that we kept. Some of them were already rotten, as well as the kitchen floor. We dismantled those parts and reinforced the structure. Having integrated underfloor heating, we covered the floor with natural marble tiles. Parquetry flooring in the rooms was also renovated throughout the apartment. Wall sconces were installed very carefully because of small frescos we had found in the bedroom. We scraped off numerous layers of paint from the authentic late 19th century doors between rooms and varnished them. Another element to have been saved and repaired was a vintage mid-19th century wardrobe. It turned black over the years, because of multiple layers of varnish. We decided not to touch the surface, we just realigned it, made minor fixes and left it as it was. A historical stove from Levynskyi factory was reincarnated in a big open fireplace. It was done following a classic technology by Count Rumford, a British inventor, where a fireplace is not deep and its angled sides reflect heat into the room. It is not a common technology either in Ukraine, or in the neighbouring countries. Designing this space, we were trying to retain a certain ambience and spirit of an apartment in the historical centre of Lviv. We also wanted to accentuate a friendly neighbourhood environment in Lviv’s typical courtyard where neighbours communicate from their balconies. As part of that concept, we replaced the windows that face the courtyard using large aluminium frames which open wide. The windows on the main façade were replicated according to an old technology using wood and original window fittings,” explain Khrystyna Badzyan, Dmytro Sorokevych, founders of studio