Spanish architects Anna & Eugeni Bach have renovated an aging flat in Barcelona, Spain’s Ensanche district to show off its mosaic floors and decorative ceiling mouldings. This project changes the manner of inhabiting an apartment in this neighborhood through small and very specific operations that make the most of every corner as if dealing with a jigsaw puzzle and giving over the protagonist role to the existing elements, conserving, reusing or modifying them in order to create new spaces that seem to always have been like this.
The project consisted of the integral reforms of a dwelling in Barcelona´s Ensanche district that dates from the year 1910 and had never undergone any substantial modification in its 100 years of history. The state of the 1,399 square foot (130 square meters) flat, however, was deplorable, as its previous occupier suffered form compulsive hoarding syndrome and had accumulated all kinds of waste, leaving many of its elements in very poor condition. The ceilings (with magnificent rosettes and mouldings) and the floors (hydraulic paving made from small ceramic pieces) had been conserved relatively well, as was the case with some of the original joinery.
The starting point therefore consisted of conserving a layout that would permit the suite comprising the magnificent existing ceilings and floors to be maintained, concentrating any necessary changes required by the new program on the spaces that did not possess such characteristics.
In order to meet this objective the work was done room by room in an attempt in each case to adapt the new program to the rooms defined by ceilings and floors, recessing wardrobes or shifting partitions without modifying the limit of the rooms so that they would gain in functionality without losing their original limits. All the joinery has been conserved in either its original position or by shifting it to new rooms opened up in the flat´s “interior” volume, always respecting the original position of the floors and windows giving on the patio.
The generous height of this flat has been made use of to raise the floor of the en-suite bathroom by 60 cm, making room in a single space for the bath underneath the shower as well as a very useful storeroom-pantry underneath the floor, accessible from the corridor and next to the kitchen. This raising of the bathroom also means that in order to access it three steps have to be climbed from the bedroom, giving the flat a greater feeling of “domesticity” by introducing an element that is more typical of a detached family house than of a single-story flat.
Photos: Courtesy of Anna & Eugeni Bach
Housing Reform in Eixample is the rehabilitation of a flat by architecture firms LOOX and DS Architects, in a heritage listed building in 1908 by Domènech and Estapà at the heart of Barcelona’s “Golden Square” in the Eixample quarter. The approach to the project has been to intervene as little as possible in its original layout, preserving the materials and finishes and repairing the ornaments and woodwork.
This way, the focus is on the existing elements that coexist with a contemporary style. The program developed consists of three bedrooms, a study, living room (lounge), kitchen, dining room and two bathrooms.
Domenech and Estapà´s original project corresponds to a household income between dividing walls of the ground floor and five floors height. The configuration of the lot, deeper below the household´s depth building area, almost disables the interior façade which doesn´t reach the courtyard. Resources providing lighting and ventilation to interior rooms are the remnants of the building´s volume practiced plan fund and dividing walls to the right with an open courtyard format; the central courtyard linked to the neighbor´s scale and another patio adjoining the dividing wall to the left, shared with the neighboring building.
Despite the main facade and common areas retain the original language, as it is common in this era´s buildings in the Eixample, each housing has been remodeled and / or split one or more times, and nowadays their condition and configuration are very heterogeneous.
The rehabilitated property which had been long time unoccupied still included the distribution and original finishes. The intervention suggests an update in terms of functionality, performance and comfort, but the main criteria precisely was intervening the least over distribution, keeping as far as possible all materials and finishes that have been preserved, and repair decorative elements and original woodwork.
The project has also addressed the repair operations and consolidation of the structure, crack´s stitching, protection of metallic elements, establishing criteria and procedures that should serve as a guideline for the structural consolidation of the building as a whole.
The false ceilings have been preserved and restored with their moldings and ornaments, interior and exterior woodwork, engraved glass and in much of the property, the original Nolla flooring mosaic. The kitchen, however, that had been already manipulated and didn’t preserve the original settings, has been resolved with current criteria and materials.
All three bedrooms and study as well as the living room (lounge), dining room and main bathroom are resolved in the current premises without altering them in any way. As in the original housing, departments facing Valencia´s Street facade which have better ventilation and lighting conditions are preferred, thus locating the master bedroom, living room (lounge) and study in it, whilst the whole kitchen-dining room occupy the interior premises.
Therefore, the adjustments´ distribution proposed by the project are just the extension of the kitchen, which will remain occupying its present position but incorporating the adjoining room facing the back facade, and the transformation of three very small pieces which accommodate two adjacent toilets and a pantry in a sole dependency which will become the house´s second bathroom.
Neither, the current hall distribution around the stairwell is altered in any way, which with the proposed reform program will become a continuous ring.
Photos: Adrià Goula
Vuelta a Empezar is an en-suite bedroom design by architecture firm Egue y Seta for Futurcret, part of the Casa Decor 2010 which was held in Barcelona, Spain. The 516 square feet (48 square meters) suite is based on the idea of the Garden of Eden, where biting the apple will open the gates of paradise. A furnished garden where temptation is shown through glass transparencies, between lattices of natural wood and palm fronds, proposing a return to a hedonistic paradise where, every day, is a sin not to start again!
The ethnic hand-crafted wooden bedside stands sit beside a contemporary metal floor lamp and a smart black shelving unit holding a selection of bright red apples, reminding us of the symbol of original sin. The entire space is assembled with a sense of the dramatic, transporting us to an exotic location where time stands still.
Primitive luxury abounds at every turn, mysterious dark mottled walls form a backdrop for a jungle scene of plants and vines at the head of the bed, a prominent object which is understandably covered in the sensuous fabrics of velvet and fur.
Fixtures of reclaimed wood and floors of stone contrast with the transparency of the enclosed waterfall shower, a unique space adorned with semi-tropical plants and ferns.
Photos: Aires Photography
The stately and quiet elegance of this Christmas decorated home with a beautiful restored structure in Barcelona, Spain, supports the warmly festive halo that surrounds it. The home features fun and cheerful Christmas details of natural finishes that will blends in with the decor.
Subtle Christmas Decorations: Simplicity lovers choose outside colors mixed with traditional festive decor. Natural wood and neutral tones decorate the living room.
A Versatile Lounge: This beautiful living space seems to be in constant movement and above all functional. With several auxiliary elements, with tables that can also be used as seats.
There are a mixture of coordinated styles of diversity and eclecticism, combining parts of different origin. Here a classical rug and an Alpine stool form a single corner.
Fir branches are used as a substitute for the traditional Christmas tree. Placed on a base, or even in a glass vase, decorate on their own. Aged gold and silver ornaments work great.
A Dining Room for a Special Event: For dress up party tables there are tablecloths of natural fabrics, fall to the ground. Combined with ornaments of fiber or wood and chairs that offer a very successful soft aesthetic.
Pure Simplicity in the Dining Room: Decoration based on clean and lightweight elements enrich the table. Here, a few cups of glass are used as candle holders as dim lighting for a party table. Placed on heart-shaped coasters, the result is perfect.
The kitchen highlights the successful combination of materials: wood, steel and marble.
The dining room and kitchen are open to each other for convenience when entertaining.
The bedroom, a private retreat: The master bedroom was installed in one of the most beautiful rooms of the house. Independent by an impressive wooden and glass door, it boasts beautiful wood, a wonderful mosaic floor and unique moldings.
A desk in the gazebo: As well as showing off a surprising structure, this room has a warm annex by way of a vantage point, ideal to locate the work area.
Advent wreath: A heart as an advent wreath decorates the bedroom door.
Bathroom with pieces of the past: The old spirit of the house is reflected with intensity in the bathroom where, without forgetting modern conveniences, opted for a retro deco look with vintage, painting the walls with cobalt blue and using an old style curtain rod.
Photos: Mi Casa
This unique home was once an old commercial property, a toy store, then went on to become an ultra-modern house with an amazing layout in Barcelona, Spain. Architecture studio Egue y Seta was commissioned for the reform of the project as well as the interior design. They left the essential walls, renovated facilities and combined warm materials such as iroko and oak woods , with other loft aesthetics, such as concrete, brick and galvanized sheet metal.
Glass is the key material in the reform, which directly influences the organization of space. It is mostly used in the facade, so that natural light takes the leading role. Behind the facade of glass, two fronts of vertical oak slats provide privacy on both sides of the entrance door, flanked by two walls that give life to the house. These shrubs, alongside a real indoor garden, featuring local species and bed of pine bark, forming a green triangle that provides a natural setting environment, something made possible by the special layout of the house.
To the right of the entrance are the common areas, an open plan living room, dining room and kitchen. A sunken living room was a solution for achieving spaciousness, as the difference in level creates the illusion of distance with the dining room when, in fact, they are close.
The walls are enhanced by contrasting brick wall and gray paint. The original wrought ceiling with beams was left exposed and galvanized steel ducts for air conditioning and heating was added.
The bedroom, is separated from two totally glazed volumes: the bathroom and indoor garden located in front of the entrance. Privacy is redefined as well in this house inhabited by a childless couple. In return, the owner’s can enjoy the central garden, as without a wall between the sleeping area and the bathroom, the bedroom is designed as a suite.
Photos: Mi Casa
Architect Carles Enrich has converted an old dry-cleaning shop between two adjoining buildings in the Gracia district of Barcelona, Spain into a home-studio for a young family. The refurbishment was a fantastic opportunity to rethink the use of an unused place and optimize the conditions. The architect proposed a system to enable the inhabitants to live in an single 1,560 square foot (145 square meters) space arranged around an outdoor patio, where the bathroom is the only enclosed space. All activities take place in a single room with visual connection to the patio. To achieve this, all the partitions that enclosed small rooms with no natural light or ventilation were removed and the openings were extended to the exterior.
The original materials used in the party walls were recovered, as the brick ceiling joists and wooden beams. The pavement is solved with a continuous tinted concrete paving and the Flanders pinewood was introduced in a second phase of reform due to the growing of the family. The lower excavation enables the incorporation of a loft made of metallic beams and a 3 centimeters wood board, which works as an independent living area inside another bigger area, without being never enclosed room. This small loft is meant to be more like a suspended furniture than a room. A furniture-closet, used by both sides, is the only separation between different spaces and converts the hallway into a dressing corridor.
An old storage room at the back of the plot is converted into a satellite studio that operates independently from the main space. This fragmentation of the program makes the patio an intermediate space that can be used as an outdoor room most part of the year.
A pergola made of metal beams and a cane network provides privacy and climate control. The progressive growth of plants and trees generate a natural environment within the dense urban area.
Photos: Enric Fabre, Courtesy of Carles Enrich
Impressive views over Barcelona, Spain surround this penthouse apartment spotted on Mi Casa, refurbished and decorated with recovered materials to become a cosmopolitan haven for a couple. The home is situated in the city center with views of the rooftops of the Gothic quarter, the oldest core of the city and its historic center. The penthouse exudes authentic charm, distributed over two floors and restructured completely in a reform that the owners planned to gain luminosity and open and interconnect spaces. The result is fabulous, with a living/dining room integrated with the kitchen, a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor and a spacious and cozy rooftop terrace.
The decoration is also the common thread of this project for which the owners used the creative advice from the firm Úsame, specializing in the design of furniture and objects through reused materials. The ceiling, the walls coated with mortar and lime, stucco or brick, are all mostly recovered. When open, the doors of this house can be seen by the original elements with respect and admiration for the parts recovered. The stylish rooms are decorated with a deep aesthetic sensibility and overflowing with personality, adding plenty of luminosity and gave freedom in circulation of spaces.
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