Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the ‘Joyous Home’ project is the choice of a colour palette. Because in this renovation project colour is the protagonist.
Our interest has focused on breathing new life into this property included on the protected heritage building list of the town. The original house, designed very early in the 20th century, is the result of the introduction of Modernisme with a certain tempering, probably due to the embryonic nature of the style in the local context of 1900. (The architect L. Rucabado would design buildings in a much more Art Nouveau style in the same town in the following years).
We have adopted the decision not to demolish partitions, overcoming the inertia of spatial and functional adaptation to contemporary conventions. This decision is respectful with the heritage protection of the property. But we have to say that it is also consistent with the criteria of domesticity and efficiency to which we aspire today. Because it has attributes that modern evolution eliminated in its drift towards maximum efficiency. Rooms with a balanced dimension that can indistinctly serve one use or another. High ceilings and large windows that act as light and radiation collectors. Windows with overlapping elements, double sheets and shutters, which in their handling allow easy control over the opening in terms of energy.
Few alterations had been made to the original house. Perhaps the most significant is the loss of the original kitchen facilities. In response, we have designed the room with a simple but expressive approach, which dialogues naturally with the originality of the house and at the same time it is functional from current demands. The original cupboard has been rescued, lacquered in red, in front of the new pine structure that supports the minimal elements of the kitchen. The arrangement of the elements and the form evoke the lost elements. The large fabric chimney has been replaced by a wooden structure, which, like a large hood, extends over the kitchen front. The equipment is reduced to the essentials. Without intending to fall into nostalgic reconstruction, simplicity is here an allegation in favour of design as a tool at the service of the durable utility.
By working on what already exists, repairing, minimizing additions, minimizing substitutions, the waste generated is reduced. With less debris, less materials to transport, processes are simplified. Any work is more sustainable to the extent that it involves fewer production, transport and installation processes. Reusing and extending the useful life of what is built and manufactured is our way of understanding sustainability.
This leads us to an exhaustive analysis of what exists to decide to join in intervening only on what is essential.
Keep the original coatings.
Repair carpentry elements.
Admit imperfections, assume the patina, the effects of wear or certain deformations.
And give prominence to the layer of decoration and color to highlight the spatial qualities of the house.
Red, pink, orange, green and blue in our particular tribute to an exuberant and sensual style of which we declare ourselves admirers.