At the beginning of the 20th century the city of Barcelona embarked on a grand plan of expansion under the guiding hand of ur- ban planner Ildefonso Cerdá y Suñer. In this context, the house in which the apartment is located was built in 1925. The apartment to be renovated, was based on a classic layout with small, dark rooms. The challenge of the project was to transform these small spaces into generous, quality spaces without losing the historic charm while making the most of the 60 m2 surface area.
With this objective in mind, we are moving away from the concept of a conventional floor plan with spaces divided by walls. Thus, all the interior walls are demolished and the furniture becomes the spatial organizing element, fulfilling the double function of room divider whilst also being utilitarian. In this way, the use of every m2 is promoted.
In the sleeping area the walls are replaced by cabinets that do not reach the ceiling. This emphasizes the sensation of spacious- ness allowing continuity between the different areas without crea- ting visual barriers. The sliding doors provide privacy but when open generate new perspectives throughout the dwelling. Each space is reinterpreted to enhance its use. With the simple gesture of placing the wardrobe doors in the corridor area instead of inside the rooms, the space in the rooms is better used while changing the classic corridor into a dressing room.
The narrowness of the original apartment is resolved with the introduction of a compact piece in the entrance area of the apartment: the cube. This volume contains the bathroom, part of the kitchen, a work area, the laundry room and storage space. The roof of the cube becomes a platform from which you have a clear view through the dwelling, to a large window in the living room that nicely frames trees on the street. Taking advantage of the space above the cube, a few valuable square meters are added to the dwelling.
For the last 100 years, original details of the apartment had been lost under successive layers of finishes. Under the wallpaper of half a century ago, the original paint colors of the walls –blue and mustard - appeared. Under the plaster ceilings undulated the original vaulted ceilings through the apartment like waves. Under the cork floors laid in the eighties, the original hydraulic mosaics were discovered. These testimonies of Catalan Art Nouveau architecture have been incorporated into the concept of the project and have been recovered with the renovation.
The demolition of the interior walls left traces of the floor paving, this was resolved by incorporating strips of new hydraulic mosaics that dialogue with the old hydraulic ones. The color concept of the project is based on the original colors found on the walls. The dark area of the entrance is bathed in mustard yellow becoming a new source of light. The blue of the living room creates a contrast to the luminosity of the entrance. In the bedrooms, the patina of the old walls is preserved. These traces, framed with a white background, become new windows - windows into the past.