Garden flat in Lyon photographed
before and after a party


French studio Dank Architectes wanted to make this minimalist apartment they designed near Lyon look "more alive" in the photographs, so they staged scenes depicting the days before and after a messy party.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

Steven Guigoz of Dank Architectes told Dezeen they came up with the idea after paying the new owners a visit and finding the place in complete disarray. "It was a complete mess, with empty bottles of Champagne on the table and wrapping paper all over the floor," he said.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

"It was a nice surprise because when you manage a construction you're always trying to keep the building site as clean as possible until you deliver the project," he continued.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The event prompted the architects to recreate the situation for a photoshoot. "Our idea was to try to make the architectural photos more alive by making the place look a little messier, contrasting with the minimalist aspects of the architecture we designed," said Guigoz.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

"In our mind it could be the day after a birthday party or New Year's Eve, but it doesn't really matter. We want people to ask themselves what happened, just like drunk people waking up and trying to remember what they did the night before," he added.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

Named Project Amou, the renovated two-storey apartment is home to a couple and their two children in a residential neighbourhood just outside the city.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The architects removed the old partitions to create an open-plan living area on the ground floor and relocated one of the bedrooms to the first floor.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

A double-height living and dining room sits alongside a row of glass doors that open the interior out to the garden.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

A new grey-painted volume separates the entrance from a television room. A laundry room and closet are contained within it, while bookshelves and a study area are built into its external walls.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The original staircase is replaced with a new metal structure that matches the family dining table.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

Photography is by Frenchie Cristogatin.

Here's a project description from Dank Architectes:

Project Amou

French architects Dank have renovated a 160 square meters garden flat in a residential neighbourhood close to Lyon to make it an open-plan apartment.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The plans were designed for a couple with two children who wanted a loft conversion type with efficient use of space. The concept was to open up the ground floor by taking down the existing partitions wall and placing the bedrooms on the upper floor.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

On the ground floor the addition of a big grey structure in the middle divides the entrance at one end from a living room area on the other hand. This large grey piece of furniture then structure and give function to the remaining space: a wall of storage near the entrance a laundry and store room in the middle and a library in the more intimate space which is the living room.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The dining room and the kitchen were placed close to the existing French windows facing the city skyline in a double height volume.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The staircase was made from industrial beam (UPM), the step are made out of oak wood and varnished on the spot. The design of the dining table was made to echo the ironwork of the staircase so it doesn't look like usual furniture but becomes part of the apartment and "structures" the open-plan ground floor.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes

The materials are polyurethane screed for the floor; MDF wood panel and laminated wood for the furniture; corian for the kitchen work plans, assembled parquet for the upper floor and the living room.

Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes
First floor plan - click for larger image
Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes
Long section - click for larger image
Garden flat in Lyon by Danke Architectes
Cross section - click for larger image
  • Frank Schäfer

    This is ridiculous. Either the party was boring as hell or it’s just been decorated to look like as if a party took place. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter though.

    • obvious

      It’s in the first sentence. Staged.

      • Frank Schäfer

        Oh thanks. I didn’t read that. But I say it again, this is ridiculous.

    • amsam

      Read the text please.

  • Metze

    Love it. So many interior photos are too sterile.

  • Haz

    What a sh*t party.

    • dembele

      Well, you have that right brother!

  • bonsaiman

    They call it a messy party? Poor kids.

    • dembele

      I bet you are party person like me also! Balloon? Of course!

  • GustavGans

    I understand their design when I see their idea of a messy party.

  • amsam

    I love this idea, but yeah, those architects have clearly never been to a party.

    • dembele

      I agree, not even once!

  • dembele

    I have been to loads of parties, so have you cool guys that comment, but architects haven’t! Haha if you don’t party then you never know?

    • Sloped

      Haha Dembele you legend.

  • dembele
  • Yes. Wouldn’t it have been more fun to have had a real party, then photograph it after? Then the photos wouldn’t look so contrived. There is something about the way that the party string has been placed carefully on the banister that is very off-putting.

  • LOW

    Mmmmm I don’t think any of the people involved in this have had a proper house party…

    • dembele

      You got that one correct! Sister?

      • LOW

        Sister (:

  • Andrw_McB

    Oh no that interior window. Please have mercy.

  • Lara

    Love the used condom under the corner of the sofa – second still photo… very clever.

    • parrot

      If you’d be drunk enough to bang on the sofa in the middle of a party you would most definitely not use a condom.

      • a nmea

        Imagine that awkward moment when you put a condom on for a quickie in the middle of a party.

  • Warren

    Was this photoshoot undertaken in the hope that Unhappy Hipsters would take it to town?

  • Paul @ mindpie

    And the award for the world’s least inviting sofa goes to…

  • Steeevyo

    Looks like the most boring party in the history of boring parties.

    • dembele

      Yes, it does!

  • Jorrs

    Haven’t Ikea done this 99999999999 times already?

    • dembele

      Try 99999999999 + 1 for real!

  • gio84

    Lamest party ever.

  • John

    I like the principle. I’ll organise the party next time. Might make the design more interesting.

  • dembele

    Ask you can already tell, me and my fellow commenters are always doing party! Maybe even broken glass! But these people have never had a party, they’re probably way too uncool, not like us ;)

  • dembele

    I have to agree with my friends here! Who brings a staircase to a party? No-one that is who, and they don’t exist! ;) ! Balloon

  • Gordon

    Dembele, you raise a good point. How is any design getting done when you all spend your time partying? Yes we all like a Chianti every now and again, but you lot sound like a bunch of wreckless boppers! If this was the aftermath of my party there’d be a box of after eights under the sofa and trivial pursuits (millennium edition) in the corner! This is the problem with modern design! You’re all party animals!

  • Chris MacDonald

    Not nearly enough alcohol, but a nice idea and well executed. More mess would have detracted from the photographs; there is just enough to make the idea work.

  • Nice

    For all you smart boys and girls criticising their images, they’ve achieved to hype an otherwise everyday project up by about 30 folds.

    • inwith

      Thought the same thing.

  • Airborne

    Parties can be civilized as well without broken glasses, turned over furniture, vomit behind the sofa and passed out binge drinkers on the lawn with their pants on their knees.

  • michael

    Where’s all the sick?

  • victorhugo

    For me, there is too much light for a hangover.

  • Concerned Citizen

    If the idea was to create a distraction from the design, it worked.