Spanish architects Anna and Eugeni Bach have renovated an ageing Barcelona apartment to show off its mosaic floors and decorative ceiling mouldings.
Located inside a 100-year-old building, the apartment had been kept in bad condition but the original floors and ceilings were still intact, so Bach Arquitectes planned the refurbishment around them.
The room layout matches the original plan, so the colourful tiled floors still line up with the walls. However one wall is removed to convert two former bedrooms into a combined living and dining room.
The architects swapped the kitchen and bathroom, creating an ensuite for the main bedroom.
The floor in the new bathroom is raised by 60 centimetres to squeeze a bath in underneath the shower. Three steps lead in from the bedroom.
Shelves added to the hallway form a makeshift library with a long bench running along underneath.
Furnishings were also planned by the architects, but include various items from the client's former home.
"We understand the furnishing of a house as a long-term process," Eugeni Bach told Dezeen. "The design of the home should be open enough to accept these new elements, furniture, objects, books. On the other hand we usually design some elements to allow these things to be collected and placed well in the house."
Bach also explained how they chose a few pieces, including the art on the living room walls: "We suggested a couple of pieces, like the Bouroullec lounge chair in the living room, the 14 Gordon Matta-Clark prints on the living room wall and the Kuutti Lavonen 'Barabbas' lito-offset," he said.
Above: layout diagram - click for larger image
The apartment was completed in 2011 and is located in Barcelona's Ensanche district.
Above: floor plans - click for larger image and key
We've featured a few Barcelona apartments in recent months. Others include one where mosaic floors reveal changes to the layout and one with sliding partitions and bright green surfaces. See more apartment interiors on Dezeen.
Above: detailed section through new bathroom
Other projects by Bach Arquitectes include a children's playhouse in Finland.
Photography is by Tiia Ettala.
Here's a project description from Bach Arquitectes:
Apartment Refurbishment in Consell de Cent, Barcelona
This project changes the manner of inhabiting a flat in Barcelona's Ensanche district 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 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 programme 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 programme 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.
A characteristic space of this reform is the long internal corridor, quite common on this dwelling typology of Barcelona's Ensanche. This space had an ideal width for converting it not only into a transit space but also into something more, in such a way that with a few simple shelves that stretch the full length of the corridor and with a few low units of the same length the corridor space has been transformed into an ample library and a place for storage.
A few Ikea tabletop lamps hanging upside-down from the ceiling contribute to giving the space a surrealist touch while providing a very pleasant specific light.
Architect: Anna & Eugeni Bach, arquitectes
Completion date: 2011
Built surface: 130 m2
Constructor: Petropolis, S.L.
Site: c/ Consell de Cent, 423, Barcelona
Sign up for a daily roundup
of all our stories