DOBRODZIEŃ – ‘Predicting the future is a risky job’, NArchitekTURA claims in reference to their latest installation for the Dobroteka furniture market in Dobrodzień, Poland. The studio intends for this ‘Apartment of the Future’ – with additional versions planned in Krakow and Warsaw – to serve as a kind of fully integrated laboratory that will allow furniture and décor companies to test their latest products directly with consumers. Visitors from the public may participate in these studies by staying in the apartment almost as if it were a hotel. It may be the closest you come to fulfilling that latent fantasy of squatting a showroom. You just have to agree to be a guinea pig.
In terms of design, most could easily assemble a whole canon of futurist visions that seem to anticipate some version of the apartment’s blinding white aura. The aesthetic is recognisable to the point of cliché. However, the team has taken such a stark approach only to neutralise the space, making it as adaptable as possible to the unpredictable future. The success perhaps lies in one’s tendency to forget that they are actually in a laboratory.
A singular, open plan cast in a U-shape consists of an antechamber receding back into two wings that are divided by a courtyard-esque void. Resin panels slide along the major axis of the volume to partition the space, creating up to three separate rooms. Cabinets fill either longitudinal wall except for a central niche that may serve as a shelf or a countertop. Auxiliary and technical elements have been stored in these cabinets, and detached furniture can take any arrangement, such that the division of conventional functions – kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc. – is virtually arbitrary.
However, one feature interrupts this pristine sterility. The sliding panels additionally form a ‘green wall’, a mural featuring different forms of vegetation. Like the space itself, the composition is a permutation subject to how the panels are arranged. Multimedia art installations projected into the niches also feature natural imagery and serve as a subtle, thematic continuation of the green wall.