Sliding blue and yellow walls hide the sleeping and storage spaces in this 1970s-inspired beach apartment in the south of France by Turin-based designers Studio UdA.
The compact apartment is in a 1970s block overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the town of Juan-les-Pins on the Côte d'Azur.
Studio UdA's renovation was inspired by an Italian comedy movie from 1977 called Casotto, which means "beach hut".
The residents requested a spacious lounge area and two separate sleeping quarters, so the designers built two structures on each side of the space.
The blue and yellow partition walls slide open to a double bedroom and bunkbeds on one side and a further set of bunkbeds on the other.
"Micro-works of architecture made of metal and wood generate unusual spatial relations between the people staying in the apartment," said the designers, adding that the lightweight structures are easy to assemble and can be altered according to the residents' preferences.
Teak, a wood frequently used inside yachts and boats in the 1970s, has been used for the kitchen cupboards and bench, while vintage lounge furniture made of wicker and plastic has been placed in the living area.
The walls are decorated with posters from the same period and wallpaper patterned with marine landscapes.
Valter Camagna, Massimiliano Camoletto and Andrea Marcante founded Studio UdA in 1992, and were joined by interior designer Adelaide Testa in 2005.
Other apartment interiors we've featured lately include a series of homes on Miami Beach designed by John Pawson and a Barcelona apartment with mosaic floors and decorative mouldings – see all apartments.
Here's some more information from the designers:
Fun House – Apartment in Juan Les Pins
The project for an apartment in Juan les Pins designed by Studio UdA tackles the issue of holiday homes. The small size of the apartments (40 m²), inside a building overlooking the sea that dates back to the 1960s/70s, provided the input for a study into various ways of setting out space and establishing interpersonal relations. In this way, the decades in question and the communal life of Italian families on the beach in summer holiday locations constitute a sort of latent memory and one of the inspirations underscoring the project.
The beach and the momentary pleasure of a day at the seaside are merely evoked in the design, just like in a well-known Italian film from the 1970s: "Casotto" directed by Sergio Citti, in which the interior of a beach hut along the coast constitutes the entire setting for all the stories about different people related in the film. In the project designed by UdA it is micro-works of architecture made of metal and wood that generate unusual spatial relations between the people staying in the apartment.
As well as managing to physically embody the different patterns of human relations during leisure time on holiday, the chosen design also met the client’s request to have a spacious lounge area and two separate sleeping quarters inside such a confined space, all with sea views. The reference to beach huts and self-built cabanas has led to the creation of lightweight structures inside the apartment; they are easy to assemble, relatively inexpensive and can also be set up according to the inhabitant’s taste and whims, while constantly offering views towards the outside.
The colour schemes of nature are also reflected in the interior colours of the various partitions, whether they be sliding doors or built-in wardrobes. Just like life on the beach, the physical boundaries and cultural differences between people and the various activities they engage in are incorporated in the project: relaxation, children's games and meal times are all reflected in different shades and tones. This enhances a sense of sharing inside the domestic space.
The stylistic languages used for setting out the spaces do not immediately distinguish the various functions of the elements into which the apartment is divided. This enables conventional hierarchies between spaces and the people inhabiting them to be broken down, focusing on relations between the members of the family and people sharing vacation time together, just as is the case in the aforementioned film in which all the relations and stories involving the various characters take place inside the beach hut.
Above: axonometric projection
The general idea behind the project points towards the materials used: from teak, a type of wood frequently employed in the nautical industry in the 1960s/70s, vintage lounge furniture made of wicker and plastic, and also more decorative features such as the wallpaper showing marine landscapes and posters designed by Domenico Gnoli from the period in question, characteristic of a certain way of looking at the world through details. A part evoking the whole, an absence that actually alludes to a presence, just as the word ‘vacation’ refers to a making way for something else: Fun House because sharing is always an enjoyable experience.