The first drive with la Carla was to give her back her nature as a dwelling, which is located in a building that captures the last beats of Barcelona’s Modernism (1936); the second –with the same restorative stubbornness– was to recover the original surviving architectural elements and ornamental details. These two premises weave the language on which the project wants to be sustained: the exercise of archaeology that involves the restoration of the pre-existing, which forces the new intervention to be displaced to a second layer.
The assignment’s programme was foral: a generous and autonomous area was required for the children and another with similar characteristics for the parents. Between them the rest of the house had to happen.
The loyalty to the existing quickly led the project towards an obsession with maintaining the layout of the space. The result was to limit the movements to 3: the opening of the future kitchen to the hall –an originally oversized space that, when reprogrammed into a kitchen was much better articulated in its own scale–; the connection of two office rooms to formalise the children’s area; and the segregation of the two pieces oriented to the back gallery, which would solve the perimeter wrapping the parents’ area.
This purism allowed to preserve and treat everything found in the space: false ceilings, mouldings, flooring mosaics, solid wood parquet, cut glass woodwork and iron elements.
The second layer of the project focuses on the three areas created, trying to respond to the imperative necessity to dialogue with the existing.
The kitchen is solved with a prismatic, longitudinal object, whose geometry shows the contrast with the place it occupies, floating freely in the space and slightly sliding towards the transverse wing of the former hall as a gesture of timid colonisation. The kitchen’s vertical furniture is moved to the wall opposite the island, in order to complete the transformation of the hall into both a kitchen and a “space between spaces”.
In the children’s area, a ‘T’ shape partition is raised in order to separate the two bedroom units –thought to absorb the night programme– from the shared playground space. The threshold between these two programmatic bubbles is elastic and permeable through large-format sliding maple wood panels, letting the spaces to be able to participate with one another.
The parents’ area was conceived to be the place to bomb the project guidelines that govern the rest of the project. What is meant to be sensitive, complementary and delicate on one side, in the master bedroom is reformulated with an explosion of a deep Mediterranean blue that envelopes the whole: cornices, mouldings, ornaments, walls, baseboards.
The resulting space is almost a cavity, a bunker with a hint of an afterhours of silence.