The 45 square meter apartment was built at the end of the 19th century and is representative of a less affluent, anonymous Modernist movement. Its original distribution was composed of a series of dark interconnected spaces that lacked proper ventilation. Keeping in mind the reduced dimensions of the apartment, the new layout optimized space by introducing a clear, functional distribution and optimized use of natural light and ventilation.
The original 19th century Modernist elements and ornament had either been lost or replaced in the post war period. Exterior and interior wooden carpentry had been replaced by 1980´s aluminum windows and plain interior doors, the original moulded ceiling had been replaced by drywall and the kitchens were an obvious product of 1960´s Pop culture, a curious insertion within a Modernist environment. Having lost most original elements, the strategy was to retrieve the intricate geometries of the tile floors and the rhythm of the Eixample brick vault and wooden beams ceilings, revealing the texture of the brick load bearing walls. New layers of ornament and materials were introduced in a deliberately discreet manner as to produce the kind of visual comfort that is created when the inhabitant is engaged by her surroundings without being overloaded by them.
We focused on detail: relationships and transitions between elements were carefully considered in terms of continuities and discontinuities of the corners, change of materials between walls and floors, transitions between original tile floors and contemporary materials. The brick walls were exposed where there was no major deterioration, and were repaired and plastered where necessary or where installations had to be wired through.
We began and finished the project contained at all times by the small scale. The composing elements of a hybrid contemporary-historical domesticity came into being around ideas of detail, ornament and textures.