As the way we work and spend our free time becomes blurred due to the increase in remote work, many of us are struggling and often failing to create separation in our living spaces between work and play. Mateusz Jóźwiak from Photon Studio set out to create an apartment that can provide a comfortable space for both work and relaxation.
Photon Studio was founded in 2022 in Poznań, Poland. The city is an important center of business and many young professionals live there. From the baroque stylings of the Poznań Fara Catholic basilica to the contemporary feel of the city’s center of commerce and art, the Stary Browar (that won numerous architecture awards when it opened in 2003) – there has had a rich architectural presence throughout Polish history. Living in a city filled with inspiration undoubtedly helped Mateusz come up with his unique designs. Focussing on architecture and furniture design, Photon Studio makes use of various CAD programs, and they use Sketchup for 3D modeling.
Mateusz’s inspiration for redesigning his apartment’s space was his partner – who has worked for a number of years as a designer of digital projects. They have been able to work from home, but it can be hard to feel that your work day is finished when you shut off your laptop and turn your chair around to find your relaxation space is the same as your workspace. Mateusz wanted to make an apartment that felt spacious while keeping the work area separated and out of sight during the evening. In his own words, “My goal was to keep a spacious, utilitarian space in which geometry and the naturalness of material play the leading roles.”
The process of designing and rebuilding the apartment took about five months. Mateusz started by removing most of the original partition walls – replacing them with light-colored birch wood. The outside walls, floor, and ceiling are all made from concrete, and this smooth greyness contrasts beautifully with the brighter and more natural feel of the birch. The color and smooth wood grains were attractive to Mateusz. “I wanted a material with a very natural wooden character to balance the concrete”.
The bedroom and home office have been hidden by these plywood walls, that has created the impression of a “box within a box”. It’s in this box that Mateusz’s partner can hide away and work, while at night they can separate themselves completely from the outside world and fully embrace their sleep. The box is a monolithic and introverted structure – it takes up a large part of the apartment floorplan, however there is ample space left over for relaxation.
Space is always at a premium, but Mateusz has kept the rooms feeling spacious and uncluttered. Birch plywood is again used in the living room to create staggered bookshelves and chests which store electronic devices. The bedroom and office also features hidden closets which help the rooms to feel uncluttered. The spaces are left open for their users, helping to declutter the mind and allow for mindful work, play, and sleep.
When asked if he would have done anything differently if he could start again, Mateusz jokes “maybe a bigger washbasin”, but he feels that everything came together well. We agree, this is a style of apartment which feels easy to breathe in. Keeping a separation between work and our home life is a huge aspect of keeping sane in today’s world – Mateusz has designed a room that allows its occupants to live out all the parts of their life comfortably.
We want to see more rooms like this “box within a box” from studios and designers. As we adjust to a changing world where workplace and home blur together, keeping a separation in our spaces becomes vital. Keep an eye on Photon Studio as they release fresh designs.