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6:19 Studio by balbek bureau


The contemporary design studio Balbek Bureau employs their usual artistic and bold approach towards modern design and creates this art gallery-like industrial ambiance for the new tattoo studio 6;19 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The studio’s founder is the Ukrainian artist Ulyana Nesheva, so the designers took care the interior to become a reflection of her and her style and artistic vision.

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The open plan layout of the creative workshop space is following the concept of an exploration of minimalism. As the founder says, “simplicity is the ultimate goal and the highest form of complexity.” So the design team from Balbek Bureau opened the space into a free spacious flow and turned each element of the interior into an art object.

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Contrasting and graphic color palette (again minimalist, of course) turns the space into a visual delight alternating black and white sculptural objects and gray “accents” (as the shining metal table from the Ukrainian design studio, polished concrete floors, and cubicles serving as art exhibition platforms and coffee tables). The urban art gallery experience begins with entering the open space filled with raw and rough materials and shapes. The first thing that grabs one’s attention is the gorgeous uniquely-shaped, 800-pound graphite concrete table.

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Undulated like a wave, it serves as a reception area and sketching board for the tattoo artists. Its edges have been carved by hand, and the rough surface texture matches the unexpected openings into walls, missing doors, and an intriguing layering reviled in the wall construct- a play between brick constructs and plastered wall coverage. This theme of view openings into the space composition is developed throughout the design; even the central art piece in the tattooing area symbolizes a hole in the wall placed on rotating wheels. This layering and rough surface textures are important features of the design concept.

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Behind the reception area, a round hole gives a view of the main working area and the minimalist tattoo beds, organized in two rows, following the concept of simplicity and the modern urban theme of the design. A small resting zone located behind the corner features the trendy set of vintage black leather chairs with chrome metal frames created by designer Mart Stam, organized around a fashionable round metal table also from Ukrainian bran. As the concept of minimalism implies, the personal belongings of the artists are stored in lockers with impressive metal, industrial presence, and clear-lined silhouettes.

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The whole place lacks doors, and the wholes of the wall enhance the feel of openness and no boundaries of rawness. An intriguing sculpture, the Boy by Christina Ridzel, is chosen by the owner to speak to the urban isolation and concept of coming into yourself. The intriguing black cube space hosts the only private zone in the studio- the bathrooms – where a play with mirrors in irregular angles creates a broken geometry and a space of artistic dynamics.

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Architects: balbek bureau; Area: 111 m²; Year: 2020; Photographs: Yevhenii Avramenko; Lead Architects: Slava Balbek, Nata Kurylenko;

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