May 20, 2020

Franz Kafka’s Residence in Prague Undergoes Its Own Metamorphosis

The living room is furnished with Scandi pieces, including two Catch armchairs by Jaime Hayon for &tradition, a Handvärt coffee table and a black, powder-coated steel floor lamp, also by Handvärt. Photography by Kubicek Studio.

In fin de siècle Prague, there lived a writer whose work often fused realism with surrealism. Franz Kafka, who needs no further introduction, was born in a period of decadence and ennui, but also a period of hope for a new beginning. This stark contrast embodies the essence of the art nouveau building where Kafka once lived, and where past and present coexist.

In the attic duplex apartments, historic wooden trusses add warmth and charm to an otherwise white and contemporary interior. Photography by Kubicek Studio.

Courtesy of architecture firm ANTA and Denisa Strmiskova Studio, the apartment boasts generous layouts and historic wooden trusses in dialogue with contemporary elements like glass handrailing and custom built-in furniture for an altogether stark, minimalistic look. “This creates a dialogue between history and [the] contemporary,” says Denisa Strmiskova, noting that the house hints at what once was and what is yet to be.

A sculptural, stark white window alcove adds a touch of drama to the Scandi-fueled seating area of this attic apartment. Photography by Kubicek Studio.
A smoky black BOMMA pendant light hangs above the living room, where the furniture is upholstered in decadent dark velvet. Photography by Kubicek Studio.
The fin de siècle spirit of decadence is well portrayed in the bathroom, where an all-black-tile cladding makes for an elegant, albeit dark, décor. Photography by Kubicek Studio.
Black and white come together in this open kitchen, which features a striking backsplash of hand-made black tiles. Photography by Kubicek Studio.
In this lower-floor apartment, even the light switches and wall sockets—from Berker’s 1930 series— draw from the building’s history. Photography by Kubicek Studio.

Read next: Denisa Strmiskova Sets a Dramatic Stage in Pro Arte’s Prague Office

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