Barcelona architecture is bright and bold, with vibrancy and vividness. This apartment is a great example of this; a contemporary renovation in an old tenement style block. It has received a dramatic new facelift, and presents a design friendly place to stay in the heart of the city.
You can see already from this entranceway that it’s an awkwardly shaped apartment. The different angles have been fitted with cupboards and seating to streamline the corridor. There’s a stool and desk to work, built in to the shelving unit. In the recess there is a sweet little area to sit and take off your shoes, making good use of an awkward space.
The undulating vault ceilings are typical of the Catalonia region, made from curved bricks in a kind of overlapping shell that work to distribute some of the weight from above so that it spreads over the structure. While some apartments have created false ceilings to hide the natural shape, it’s such a nice feature that I’m pleased to see the originals on show. In fact they have been accentuated with tactful use of custom made mirrors that sit flush against the wall to give the illusion of more room and draw your eyes to the ceiling.
One of my favorite things to see in Spanish architecture and home decor is the exquisite use of ceramic tiles, with all the variations of so many patterns and styles. The tiles in the living room kitchen area create a smart divide between the areas. They have been most vividly framed by the zesty green walls that lead to the shower room and the toilet area – the green certainly brings some brightness to the room!
A cozy place to sit and relax, to have a bite to eat; there are some wonderful pops of color that certainly fit the aesthetic and design of Barcelona.
The mirror allows for plenty of playful opportunity, as you can see with all of the light shades designed by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and their multi colored cords in the reflection. With so many colors they go well with the textiles of the sofa, and act in part as sculptural artwork!
Hidden in between the mirrors, there are tall green shelving areas that are also entrances into the bathroom and toilet unit.
The natural light streams in and bounces off the mirror and white walls, creating a warm space despite the cold tiles underfoot. The splash of color you see dotted around work well in this setting. Towards the far end of the room is a balcony, so you can see that this really is quite a long space.
There are two bedrooms in the apartment, each has a custom built headboard that brings the bed out at an angle to the room to create an area for getting ready. It is framed to align with where some of the original walls were in the rooms.
The beds face out towards the windows to take advantage of that sunrise alarm clock.
This would be a perfect spot to get ready in the morning. It’s a supurb bit of space with enough light, and by adding a mirror I would love to make this my vanity table!
The wooden headboard neatly frames the dressing room area of the bedroom. Interestingly, the boards were partly made from the wood reclaimed from the old doors that used to be in the apartment before the renovation.
At only 65 square meters, this tiny two bed apartment certainly packs a punch. From the green flourescent ambiant to the traditional and ornate tiles there is a mix between the architectural styles that you would expect to find from an old Barcelona apartment, beautifully welcoming in a modern twist.
If you want to see more Catalan vaults and quirky Spanish style furnishings, check out The Furnished Void, to see some before and after shots that show a total transformation!
Project: Piso Pere IV 44
Design: Miel Arquitectos
Photos: Asier Rua