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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Ukrainian Wabi Sabi. 5.0: Another story about imperfect beauty!

Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Serhii Kadulin; courtesy the architects
Read Time: 3 mins
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Sergey Makhno Architects design a beautifully serene apartment for two - combining emptiness and comfort, nature and technologies, passion and Zen… the wabi-sabi way…

“To live wabi-sabi means to live a simple, conscious life, in harmony with oneself, with all other harmonies coming in gradually,” informs Ar. Sergey Makhno, as he opines that the concept is so integral to the Japanese way of life that one would think it runs in their blood. 

Well, the task at hand in this Ukranian apartment was challenging. The design had to focus on a private lair for a couple, but amidst a full family home. Turning to wabi-sabi and its principles for a solution, the architect celebrates acceptance, imperfection, and whimsy in a beautiful flourish of panache and passion.  

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Planning is simple. A living room with a hidden kitchen, a bedroom with a hidden wardrobe, and a bathroom behind glass. And two “hidden” words in a previous sentence are used on purpose. If you are about wabi-sabi, you need to forget about all the shelves with dozens of statuettes, even if one of them is a gift from your granny or your first love. Only closed storage areas. And if you really like that granny’s ceramic cat — it should be honoured to be placed in the centre of the room, not among dozens of statuettes alike. Because wabi-sabi is about the things that really matter to you. 
 
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So, the walls in the living room are in clay, the ceiling is in clay and wood, and one of the four walls is a window. Japanese wabi-sabi way of life is a peaceful joy to accept the full life circle. From birth to death, from the point of greatest glory to that of complete decline. Therefore, the main décor element here is a 6-metre wide window with a view of the landscape that no matter what will come into the world, will die. Again, and again. 

Consequently, the main composite element here is an ample sofa and a dining table with blue-steel legs and a wart slab tabletop, whose bruises are healed with a polymer resin. There is tinted oak on the walls — yes, this is where the hidden kitchen is. And the coffee tables are old willow stumps. The Ashwood floor is warmed with granny’s carpets as this family has preserved both spiritual traditions and material.

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The same tinted oak hides the wardrobe in the bedroom, where again just a large soft bed dominates. Designer lamps by Sergey Makhno in both areas add a touch of whimsy as does the ceramic vase designed by Sergey Makhno and Slavko Odarchenko and inspired by the work of a famous Japanese artist Shiro Tsujimura!

Contrarily, the bathroom is behind a glass wall that doesn’t hide it but gives it some air. It gives it a chance to be a full-fledged part of the space, taking the design language forward. 

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The whole space is like a canvas for the most talented artist — life. As the principle of wabi-sabi goes - when you accept things as they are and do not try to improve them, there is more time left to just enjoy these things. Imperfection is not something to be endured. It is an integral part of life that we must learn to accept and celebrate. 


Fact File:
Type: Apartment 
Project: Ukrainian Wabi Sabi. 5.0 
Architect: Sergey Makhno Architects
Design Team: Sergey Makhno, Serhii Filonchuk, Ihor Tykhyi, Illia Tovstonog, Olha Sobchyshyna
Area: 200 sq. m.
Location: Kozyn, Kyiv, Ukraine.


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