By no stretch of the imagination could the glittering city of St Petersburg be considered to represent the broodingly gothic, Gotham City of Batman comic fame, or indeed the home of any other comic hero. However, in the eyes of one designer and one very unique client, St Petersburg needed its own super hero, or more specifically a luxury Super Hero Penthouse, fit for a super hero to live in.
Super Hero Penthouse in St Petersburg By Architects Tuchkov Alexander and Dmitry Sharapov
The imaginative part-time owner of this penthouse lives in London most of the time. He wanted to convert the St. Petersburg apartment into an exciting and comfortably modern place to indulge his interest in comic book heroes. He achieved his vision with the aid of creative and flexible architects Tuchkov Alexander and Dmitry Sharapov. This project was well outside the architects’ normal experience but they were happy to take on the challenge of something out of the ordinary. As it says on one of the apartment’s wall ‘never say never’!
The Dream of a Super Hero Penthouse
This creative team had already developed an excellent working relationship through working together for over 20 years. Tuchnov was responsible for all structural and engineering decisions whilst Dmitry engaged mainly with every aspect of the interior design, decoration and furnishing the apartment. Although the design team is many years the senior of their client they were able to fully enter into the fun spirit of the Super Hero Penthouse project.
The Super Hero Penthouse Conversion
The starting point for this project was a spacious well appointed apartment in good general condition. As the architects put it, the living space was, “… not over burdened with many interior walls”. This was a major advantage as the aim on the lower floor was to create a dramatic open-plan living area.
Super Hero Penthouse Project in St. Petersburg
Glazed panels made it possible to realize the idea of a light filled open space downstairs. The design team was also greatly impressed by the huge high ceilings and attractive zenith window in the bedroom on the second level. So they decided to exploit these features further by adding a spiral staircase that actually extends to the roof terrace.
At the request of the owner, a mini library was designed in a loft space high up in the bedroom. The combination of a mezzanine floor, glass screens and no visible barriers creates a sense of unsupported suspension. This is a dramatic touch which is definitely only suitable for people who are not afraid of heights – just like Superman.
Modern Bedroom in a Super Hero Penthouse
The three main colors used in designing the living area were white, black and red.
This is a powerful and energizing color scheme and the colors were applied in away that totally ignored conventional rules of conservative good taste. But this was a most individual project and therefore required unusual decorating solutions.
Modern Interior Design
According to Dmitry Sharapov, the black ceiling made sense of the lofty room giving the interior a more human scale. In contrast, the light kitchen area blends in to the brilliant white background walls so that it merges unobtrusively within the rest of the space. The kitchen is very well equipped but kept as a discrete feature, unlike many other elements of the decor in the Super Hero penthouse.
Romantic Bedroom in a Super Hero Penthouse
Many aspects of the design scheme have a fantastic ‘larger than life’ quality. The bedroom is remarkably romantic. It has a softer more yielding appearance than the rest of the apartment. The flowing bed canopy drapes from ceiling height. Beyond the sheer fabric, twinkling mini lights appear as a starry constellation against the jet black ceiling. Also, in keeping with this dreamlike atmosphere, silvery translucent blinds at the windows scatter light and create an illusion of the midnight sun at all times of the year.
Super Hero Penthouse with Cartoon Graffiti
The well planned division and decoration of the space in this apartment ensures that it doesn’t start to look like a community youth club and the overall perception to visitors is always going to be one of one luxury and good taste.
The bold graffiti on the walls are of distinctive comic book scenes. These are notable as they were painted by the serious mural artist Kondurova Alexander. On this occasion, using a ‘pop art’ genre, the artist found a way to express his ideas admirably. He even gave the wicked character portrait on the living room wall an amusing resemblance to the landlord!
Artistic Bathroom Design
To hold there own against the powerful wall art, oversized chairs were selected to grace the living room. These have sensational carved baroque frames and the black-and-white upholstery also features comic book imagery. These ‘fun’ items contrast with the more serious and sedate black leather sofa. Another furniture highlight is the glass topped table with its industrial chick metal base. This super hero penthouse is full of design contradictions, but this eccentric eclecticism works. As does the contrast of the industrial metal doors with huge handles next to overtly delicate interior design details.
Cartoon Bathroom Interior Design
As Dmitri commented, all these diverse elements “live together” in the apartment, making it unique, nonconformist style.
The general consensus from all those involved in the Super Hero Penthouse revamp, was that it was a new and challenging experience but also highly enjoyable one.