The Star of This Unexpected Apartment Is a Glowing Piece of Marble

Photos by David Mastalka

A 19th century building in Prague restored by a developer became a blank canvas for the team at A1 Architects when they took on the design of the property's attic apartment. In the one-bedroom home, they looked to combine both modernist influences with the more traditional grandeur that surrounds the building, coming up with an open and airy concept that errs on the minimalist side ... and yet throws in (literal) curveballs like curved walls, cabin-like nooks, and material pairings you almost never see.

While the project focused on oft-overlooked details like handles, door knobs, and lamps (many of which were custom-made), the star of the design is a huge onyx marble circle that sits in the wall separating the bedroom and hallway, bringing an unexpected texture to an apartment that's already filled with surprises.

open concept living/dining room with herrinbone floors
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credit: David Mastalka

In the open concept living room, bleached oak in a herringbone pattern feels traditional until it's interrupted by white tile. The sofa is by Klára Šumová, an independent designer known for balancing human needs with raw materials to produce highly unique yet intimate designs.

white fireplace
credit: David Mastalka

The apartment plays with geometry that feels unexpected, like the hearth of this fireplace, with its angular, asymmetrical tile design.

open living room with skylights
credit: David Mastalka

A set of old Ton chairs were painted white for the dining table in the open space. Hanging lights were custom-designed and made by Dechem Studio.

blue sofa
credit: David Mastalka

Behind the modernist-style sofa is a window with a view of the Prague Castle, a complex dating back to the ninth century. Aluminum frames from Schüco International make up the windowed ceiling.

mint green kitchen
credit: David Mastalka

Tailor-made by carpenters, the bottom kitchen cabinets sport mint green fronts, while the upper storage offers a more natural and linear look with ash veneer cladding.

narrow hallway
credit: David Mastalka

The apartment, referred to as the Onyx Moon Loft by the architectural firm, gets its name from the circular piece of onyx marble secured in the wall, which brings in just the right amount of natural light, making it seem like a glowing moon.

small bedroom with silk carpet
credit: David Mastalka

On the other side of the wall lies the bedroom, where the onyx inset rests above the bed. A curved wall, with a nightstand custom-built to fit within the bend, makes the small space feel as if it's being hugged.

small bedroom with silk carpet
credit: David Mastalka

The bedroom blends efficiency with luxury thanks to accessible outlets and built-in reading lamps, combined with a silk carpet.

bathroom
credit: David Mastalka

A living plant wall brings nature into one of the most intimate spaces in the house. The circular window mirrors the theme set by the home's onyx showpiece, but in the bathroom it has the effect of making the room feel boat-like.


Kate Santos

Kate Santos

Kate Santos is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. After interning at Dwell magazine in San Francisco, she began writing for a variety of ... more