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An Annex Condo Gets a Space-Making Reno

Annex condo

Unable to build outward, Post Architecture completely re-arranged this condominium interior, making it brighter, airier and cozier than ever

By Evan Pavka
Photography by Riley Snelling

Renovating the spartan, ‘70s-era suite was going to be difficult. With concrete walls and shared structural glazing systems, little could be done to its existing constraints. But Gloria Apostolou, founder of Post Architecture, was up for the challenge. “We couldn’t easily gut the apartment because of the construction,” Apostolou says. “On our part, it was a matter of how to make a meaningful impact knowing that we could not do what we typically do.”

Annex condo
Each piece of the owner’s art collection was sized, catalogued and incorporated into the redesign of the home. Post Architecture ensured it received the appropriate amount of light, and took cues from it for the palette of the home. 

Unable to build out, Apostolou turned inward to find space. Demolishing what interior partitions she could, she reclaimed almost five square metres and installed sliding doors throughout, saving a square metre of functional space apiece. She also leveraged a number of skillful millwork interventions in a subtle, space-lightening blue-grey wash, to provide much-needed storage space and knit the 84-square-metre interior together with a unified graphic accent.

Annex condo
To minimize clutter, the cabinetry was painted the same shade as the surfaces. A small shelf provides space for decorative bowls and kitchen essentials.

With the walls gone, Apostolou was free to rejig the location of major kitchen appliances, gaining 11.5 cm for the galley configuration. A generous island now meets a floor-to-ceiling unit that, in addition to housing the relocated fridge, is backed with ample storage and a hidden cubby to disappear the coffee machine and toaster. It also functions to visually divide the open area from the surrounding space. To reinforce the airy feel, the upper cabinets were elevated 61-centimetres above the counter and painted bright white, almost receding against the bold cabinetry below.

Annex condo
The condo was an exercise in space reclamation. Case in point, rather than fill in or cover up this wall cavity, it was utilized as a medicine cabinet.

“We stole from wherever we could,” says Apostolou. In the bathroom, for instance, a wall cavity became the prime site to insert a medicine cabinet, while open shelving in the living area holds the owner’s impressive library.

In the bedroom, blue-grey millwork functions as a “walk-through closet” and contains the unit’s laundry. Built to waist height, the enjoys plenty of natural light, as well.

A dressing area — a “walk-through closet” of sorts — was created with an almost two-metre-long, low-slung dresser, which also helps balance out the narrow proportions of the space. Cleverly backing the laundry with the bathroom wall meant that the appliances could be integrated into the adjacent closet, veiled with a slatted door that slides back into the system.

The cement and plaster ceiling made recessed lighting a no-go, so Apostolou used pendant to help illuminate the homeowner’s expansive art collection. The low-slug millwork behind expertly turns utilitarian storage into a high-design storage.

While fitting out such a small space with this much storage could easily drift into heavy and claustrophobic territory, the final renovation retains a luminous and refreshing atmosphere, the perfect backdrop to the homeowner’s vibrant art collection. “It was a conversation,” Apostolou says of the process, “about how to balance these hiding places with a sense of openness.” POSTARCHITECTURE.COM

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