Spirit of time

apartment (100 m2) in Moscow Alexander Erman, Oleg Klodt

Passing the gallery

A photo: Kirill Ovchinnikov

Stylist: Evgenia Shuer

Interview prepared: Karina Chumakova

Project author: Alexander Erman, Олег Клодт

Woodwork: Alexander Popovich

Construction Manager: Vasily Nikitich

Magazine: N5 (105) 2006

“An apartment can be called stylish, but it’s not a style as a set of certain techniques and forms, but a principle. Creating an interior for us is first of all the architect’s work with the customer. Give me two identical apartments belonging to different customers, and I will have completely different interiors - so said about his new project Alexander Erman

I must say that the walls of the architectural bureau itself Erman & Klodt bring closer to a clue as to why this tandem has such concise, European-modest interiors that cannot be crammed into any known style. White ceilings with fragments of preserved stucco, dark wooden floor, light plastered walls - does this not remind you of anything? When you see that the interior of the architects' studio is so much in tune with the style of what they do for their clients, it becomes clear: everything they take on is done as it is for themselves.

SALON: Please tell us about the features of the planning solution for this apartment.

Alexander Erman: This project embodies our ideas about modern planning. I do not understand why in apartments always make hefty living rooms. It is assumed that the whole family should gather in this room in front of the TV, but the interests of people of different generations are very different, and the living room is almost never used as intended. We all came out of the times of stagnation, and ever since we have had the habit of gathering and talking in the kitchen. Therefore, I proposed to move the compositional and communicative center of the apartment to a large and comfortable dining room. The living area, therefore, plays a secondary role. It exists in the same volume with the hallway and is separated from it only by a column and two ceiling beams.

S: The decor of the apartment is built on contrasting colors and textures. Tell us why you chose this technique?

 - In the interior, we really used two contrasting colors, but in reality it is not white and black in its pure form, but their shades. Initially, I wanted to make a sharp-contrast interior, but then I decided that a softer version with several shades of primary colors is preferable. The customer pushed me to this, and was right. Absolutely all architects need to be stopped at some point, because they have a concept that they want to adhere to, and in my conceptual interior, in my deep conviction, you cannot live. The interior should be life, and if you clearly follow the concept, life goes away.

S: What do you think about eclecticism in the interior?

 - Eclectic - is the reality of today. Everyone is trying to combine different things, because otherwise it is no longer interesting. We live in anticipation of a new “big style”, and if Armageddon doesn’t happen, relatively speaking, a “big style” will surely appear, but its appearance both in architecture and in the interior is necessarily preceded by eclecticism. Now, for example, it is fashionable to take an old chair and paint it with red paint. In fact, we used the same method in this apartment: the form, the box, remained classical (we painted the walls with panels and made decorative cornices on the ceiling), and the filling was modern. I admire the Parisian and London apartments, in which the interior historical decoration is carefully preserved, and the décor is conditioned by life itself, while no one tries to bring it to the same style denominator.

Oleg Klodt: "When we met for the first time, the customer just asked to make an apartment for him. This is a very rare case - we were not shown photos in magazines, we didn’t explain on our fingers how everything should be, and gave us more creative freedom, therefore all our ideas about modern urban housing. "