Moscow-based firm CXEMA references the old quarters Morocco’s cities with vibrant hues and a unique approach to the compact layout.
Although this 753-square-foot apartment is located in a new building in Moscow, the inspiration for its design came from a faraway place. The architects at CXEMA designed the unit for a young couple who had just returned from a trip to Morocco and were fascinated by the structure and colors of the medinas (old quarters) in the various cities they visited.
The architects translated the feeling of being in a Moroccan medina into a sort of design vernacular for the home. They centered the apartment around the living room, which plays the part of the main square, and enveloped the space in red, a color that alludes to one of Marrakech’s many nicknames, the "Red City." The red wall can be seen from every vantage point within the apartment, and the other rooms branch off of it, much like the streets that branch off from the main square within a typical medina.
The kitchen and dining area are partially visible from the living room. Just down a narrow hallway, the bedroom is separated from the bathroom by a frosted glass partition that allows light to pass through. In the bathroom, a deep-blue paint color references the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech.
Aside from the colorful walls and a geometric ceiling fresco by artist Yura Pilishkin, the materials featured in the apartment are predominantly natural wood and concrete. Large, concrete slabs on the floor were custom-made with colored concrete pieces.
The sleeping area features a bed on a raised wooden platform that occupies the majority of the room and provides storage underneath. There are also enclosed storage areas in the red wall, which are highlighted with wooden textures but painted with the same color as the partition.
"The apartment energizes us!" say the residents. "Every morning, waking up with a red wall on the opposite side [of the bed], and then moving into a blue bathroom with natural light, we feel joy and energy."
"Colors, [organic] textures, and natural light are the most beautiful things in our apartment," the owners continue. "We try to preserve the feeling of the space without cluttering the apartment with unnecessary details."