Sincerity and passion. That is the motto of the polish design studio Kuoo Architects, which has carried out a number of projects on home soil and abroad since 2006. Last year they brought their vision to Belgium with House Weert's interior design: a new home for a couple with two children.
In 2006 Katarzyne Kuo Stolarska founded her architectural firm Kuoo Architects, which until 2011 was called Rydzynska. The studio specialises in interior architecture. Their designs are primarily functional, have clean lines and are made with high-quality materials. They are well aware that designing a unique interior is a challenge for both the architect and the client. With a sense of aesthetics and current trends in mind, they design true interior gems. They do all this in close collaboration with the client. The client is therefore king for kuoo architects.
For the Belgian House Weert project, the wishes of the owners were also followed to the letter. Imagicasa spoke with Katarzyne about this project.
How would you describe the Kuoo style?
“We bring minimalist design that you could call feminine. We like to use meaningful features such as decorative lamps. We also love to play with size, contrast and surprise elements.”
How was the Kuoo style incorporated in this project and how does it differ from previous projects?
“House in weert was a very pleasant project: airy and spacious. We used delicate cotton lamps in contrast to the bulky seats. Strong illustrations stick out against the silk white textures of the wardrobes. Raw black contrasts with shiny white. Elegant, refined furniture stands next to rough, cracked wooden blocks or next to a monumental table and chairs. We made some bold choices. This house is completely Kuoo.”
"We love to play with size, contrast and surprise elements."
Why did the owners choose the Polish Kuoo architects for their Belgian home?
“Our projects are widely shared through social media platforms such as Pinterest or Facebook. That’s why, we get a lot of attention not only from polish but also foreign customers. We have already completed some projects in Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, and we are currently working on interiors in Corsica and two major projects in London. Our contemporary and minimalist design is universally applicable. We see ourselves as a European company.
Communication with a foreign client is no different from communication with a local client. We communicate via emails and online platforms where we can post images and sketches and receive an immediate response from the client in the form of comments or drawings. This structures the work process and makes it easy to understand for both parties.”
Did you receive specific instructions from the owners?
“Yes, we always have an in-depth discussion with a new client. We got a detailed list of preferences from the family of four in which they defined their needs, what they do and don't like, and their way of life. The owners did their best to give very clear instructions, which made it easier for us to understand their needs. This made the process very smooth.”
Where did you get inspiration for this project?
“The client gave us very detailed instructions, which did not leave much room for discussion. Over the years we also developed our own distinctive style, in which we are consistent and which we have implemented in this house. We used the best natural materials, high-quality furniture, quality lamps and deco elements. We played with black and white contrast and we paid a lot of attention to every detail.”
"The owners didn't want a pale house, so we added explosions of black or rough textures to the interior."
Were there specific issues related to the house or environment that you had to take into account when designing?
“The interior design project was developed when the house was still being built, so we had some influence on how the rooms and spaces were formed. The architects who built the house worked with us to shorten the design process, because nothing had to be redesigned or demolished.”
Can you tell me something about the eye-catchers of the interior?
“Clear, airy rooms with great contrast and a classic but contemporary design. We minimised the unnecessary and emphasised the important issues: activities and actions. Anything you don't need should be removed. Those were the requirements.”
What materials and colours were used for this project, and why?
“We were asked to design a house full of light, so we preferred white over other colours but also used contrast in crucial places. The owners didn't want a pale house, so we added explosions of black or rough textures to the interior.”
What was the biggest challenge in this project?
“We don't see this project as a huge challenge. The layout of the house was well designed and the architects worked very well with us. The owners' instructions were very detailed and their images and expectations corresponded with our style and philosophy. We liked working on this project and it was pleasant and rewarding in all phases.”
This interview was originally published in Imagicasa Spring 2018.
All images courtesy of KUOO Architects