Finishing touch: Handle With Care, DWELL 9/09
"Before moving with his parents form Warsaw to Paris at age 16, Krzysztof Kwiecińskt often visited his grandmother in her 800-square-foot apartment. Shortly after her death in 2005, then 25-year-old Kwieciński returned to Poland and moved into her home, which was filled with a hodgepodge of wooden furniture accumulated since the late 1940s, when his great-grandparents moved into the apartment. Though Kwieciński wanted to modernise the space, he "didn't want the old life of the apartment to disappear completely."
With Warsaw architecture firm Centrala, Kwieciński arrived at a compromise. Together, they dismantled the apartrnent’s old doors, tables, bookshelves, and chairs, and used them to build a 12-by-10-foot "free standing unit—dubbed the Hardbox that contains a kitchen, toilet shower, bathtub, and fold-out guest bed. The rules: No panel could be the same color or shape, nor could they alter design details like holdings or keyholes. Even the doorpost lined with faded pencil marks tracking Kwieciński’s height as a growing boy was incorporated into the piece.
In a world where things that should be saved are all too often lost and those that should be replaced aren’t, the Hardbox strikes an admirable balance of sentiment and modernity."