An apartment designed for rental has the potential to be left lackluster, but the owner of this place in Barcelona was looking to create something that draws people in and makes best use of the room’s shape. Original architectural features, such as the bare brick walls and vaulted ceilings typical of the Catalan region, have been cleaned up and give the rooms a dose of personality. Another fascinating feature is the implementation of two boxes set within the space.
The apartment has been blocked out into spaces, with the two boxes containing tiled areas; the bathrooms and a kitchen. You can see from this living room that to the left there is a tiled wall space, which isn’t fully attached as a wall. There exists a balance in the space of defining areas of the room. Check out the large sliding door, giving the appearance of a door that seems flush with the walls.
The doors here lead either to the kitchen or the bathroom. You can see the way the tiles switch over to adapt for the different spaces! Moving from the solid bold hexagonal geometric tiles, to neater square mosaics.
The kitchen can be accessed from near the front entrance of the house as well as along this way, making it very easily accessible, breezy and open.
Eschewing the dense boxy shape of a kitchen, the counter top is cut out, giving a jigsaw puzzle style step shape in the wall. Along with the rounded ceiling, and multilevel dimensions of the countertop, they’ve cooked up a feast for the eyes with this small kitchen.
Light streams in from the courtyard!
The many different textures and patterns used with the tiles, bare brick walls and from the wood of the cabinetry really all combine in the corridor to give you a feel for the pleasant energy of the home.
You can also see from this angle the way the kitchen and bathroom are contained together in the central part of the larger context of the room. Rather than building walls that reach up to the vault ceiling, the bathroom is contained within its own box.
There is plenty of space for living room furniture, and a dining table, ready for renters to move the room around to suit them. The old wooden doors open out to the balcony.
The bedroom is concealed behind sliding doors. Just like the living room it is street facing, with bright windows to let in the light and thick doors to shut it out.
The master bathroom suite is also contained within this large space, a freestanding box that organizes the room. The architects say “the skeleton of the apartment is undressed and exposed to become a powerful setting that embraces the new pieces.” Exposing the room to the brick walls and pulling back to the vaulted ceiling and cement tiles, this box in the middle seems to make the room feel larger and quite a powerful dynamic.
There is space at the back of the bedroom area for a dressing room, divided by this sink area next to the bathroom unit.
Mirrors reflect the strong textural qualities of the brick wall. The bathroom cube is set at a lower height than the rest of the room, allowing you to see the gorgeous curves of the ceiling. Circular sinks are inset into a marble countertop.
The rest of the house is decorated quite simply, but the overall feel for the home embraces some quirky features that give the space plenty of character. Between the boxes, the bricks and the blend of shapes, this is an inviting apartment with enough personality of its own to be a great roommate.
Project: La Carmina
Design: Clàudia Raurell, Joan Astallé, Marc Peiró for RÄS Studio
Photos: Adrià Goula