Modern Contemporary Design


Apartment in Barcelona by ARQUITECTURA-G


ARQUITECTURA-G has renovated a 160 square meter apartment in Barcelona. Major updates include a bathroom (above, photo: Lluis Folch), kitchen, laundry room, and pantry…


The old apartment had double doors connecting most of the rooms, the architects used the existing doors and openings to create new flexible spaces for different uses, depending on the need.



The new bathroom is the result of combining two old ones and a service hallway was opened up to create more space. (photos: Jose Hevia)


The kitchen was moved to a larger space within the apartment. (photo: Lluis Folch)



(photos: Jose Hevia)


The original condition of the apartment had a linked room layout, with pieces connected to each other by double leaf doors. These pieces were also related to a service corridor which split the circulation into two, connecting more efficiently the kitchen, the utility room, the larder and the guest bathroom.

The generous passage between pieces let link them programmatically, allowing multiply the dimension of a single room or even reaching an absolute permeability. On the other hand, diverse levels of division and intimacy where possible locking the doors depending on the needs.

Due to the flexibility of that scheme, we chose to maintain and to improve it. It also fitted with the uncertain needs of the clients. The main decision has been creating a central core of specialized pieces -kitchen and bathrooms- which takes over the original circulation spaces.

We placed the kitchen at the entrance, instead of the original useless hall. Thus, we have an encounter point accessible both from the exterior and the contiguous rooms that, furthermore, is a kitchen. On the other side, the new bathroom appropriates the original service corridor, increasing its size so we can understand it as a huge interchangeable toilette area where we have two complete bathrooms -which may go with two hypothetical rooms-, and a guest bathroom.

We insisted on removing the corridor by rotating an existing partition and covering it with a floor to ceiling mirror. It provided the coming up of programmatically ambiguous areas, ready to be defined by the inhabitant, and it improved the visual permeability allowing diagonals that break the orthogonality of the plan. At the same time, the rotation of this mirror plane blurs the bathroom’s inner division while reflecting its images to the adjoining rooms.

Beyond the size equality of the pieces, the door is the tool which expresses the apartment’s versatility. There is not any single leaf door. The existing double leaf ones are maintained, combined or relocated while some new typologies are included; sliding one leaf doors, sliding/casement doors, etc. It is done in an almost random way, playing with the size of the partition and the door in order to mistake one element for the other, and to emphasize that each room has a close relation to its adjoining ones.

Project Team: Jonathan Arnabat, Jordi Ayala-Bril, Aitor Fuentes, Igor Urdanpileta.

Collaborator: Marc Medina

Construction Team: Cristalstudio, Instalair, Construcciones Orms, Lumens, Vinçon, Fritz Pereferrer, Orlasa, Quimipres, Aicober, Wooddesign BCN

Constructed area: 160 sqm

Project Year: 2008

Construction year: 2009


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