Before & After: An Old Equipment Room Is Reborn as a Modern Penthouse

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By Michele Koh Morollo
With 20-foot ceilings and full-height windows, this former Ukrainian equipment space breathes new life as an elegant, modern abode.

Inspired by the exposed infrastructure and roughcast concrete elements that were a part of the original space, Kiev–based architecture and design studio 2B.group has strategically redesigned the equipment room layout into a stylish penthouse residence—an idyllic setting for entertaining. 

"The main challenge of this project was to plan the space so that it would achieve maximum utility of its 180-degree view from the windows." explains Slava Balbek, one of the studio's founders. "We visually divided the space with lines originating at the doors in the center, thus separating it into the living room, master bedroom and service areas." 

Before:

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Before: the entrance to the equipment room.

Before: the entrance to the equipment room.

"Smart zoning has transformed the apartment into a visually clean and bright environment," Balbek continues. "Visitors are able to see an endless open space upon entering the apartment."

Before: a look at the old floors, which have been stripped and replaced with wood and concrete.

Before: a look at the old floors, which have been stripped and replaced with wood and concrete.

Before: a peek at the heavy machinery that was once stored in the space.

Before: a peek at the heavy machinery that was once stored in the space.

Before: the original windows were retained during the revamp.

Before: the original windows were retained during the revamp.

Before: the architects also kept the existing porthole windows.

Before: the architects also kept the existing porthole windows.

After:

Now, common areas are concentrated around a right-angled section that follows the glazed window-walls.  

Now, common areas are concentrated around a right-angled section that follows the glazed window-walls.  

The optimized layout includes an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen, along with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths.

The optimized layout includes an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen, along with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths.

The living and dining areas have been relocated closer to the fully glazed exterior walls, where they can now enjoy more light.

The living and dining areas have been relocated closer to the fully glazed exterior walls, where they can now enjoy more light.

A DJ stand, located between the living room and dining area, comes in handy for parties. 

A DJ stand, located between the living room and dining area, comes in handy for parties. 

Due to its location under a lower ceiling, the kitchen gets the least amount of natural light in the home. However, the architects have mitigated this problem by using stainless steel surfaces, which reflects sunlight streaming in through the dining and living.

Due to its location under a lower ceiling, the kitchen gets the least amount of natural light in the home. However, the architects have mitigated this problem by using stainless steel surfaces, which reflects sunlight streaming in through the dining and living.

A sloped wall of framed windows serve as cues to visually guide one from the kitchen and dining area into the master bedroom.

A sloped wall of framed windows serve as cues to visually guide one from the kitchen and dining area into the master bedroom.

A look at the wood-burning fireplace in the living lounge.

A look at the wood-burning fireplace in the living lounge.

The entrance to the master bedroom is through a sloped wall of framed windows. 

The entrance to the master bedroom is through a sloped wall of framed windows. 

The open, airy atmosphere continues in the bedroom where the ensuite is fitted with a glass wall. 

The open, airy atmosphere continues in the bedroom where the ensuite is fitted with a glass wall. 

A guest bedroom is located at the other end of the living room.

A guest bedroom is located at the other end of the living room.

A glass wall separates the ensuite bathroom from the bedroom, allowing additional natural light to flood the space. A curtain can be drawn along this wall when privacy is needed.

A glass wall separates the ensuite bathroom from the bedroom, allowing additional natural light to flood the space. A curtain can be drawn along this wall when privacy is needed.

The apartment has been carefully configured to take full advantage of the 180-degree views of the city skyline.

The apartment has been carefully configured to take full advantage of the 180-degree views of the city skyline.

A look at the floor plan drawing of the renovated penthouse.

A look at the floor plan drawing of the renovated penthouse.

Project Credits:

Architecture and interior design: 2B.group