Dezeen Magazine

Melon District by Gus Wüstemann 2

Here are images of the student rooms and circulation at Melon District in Barcelona by architect Gus Wüstemann (see previous story).

Below are some notes about the project from Wüstemann:


"It is not a building but a district"

District is the way a human being lives in urban context.

We choose of the shelf low cost industrial materials to create these urban spaces. There is no hierarchy within these surfaces that makes it urban and authentic. Therefore each surface transmits a feeling of purity and coexistence in relation with its surrounding. The statics of Melon District are defined by the authenticity of the materials. There is no decoration.

An important actor in this context is the white floor: the main horizontal surface of the project which goes beyond its basic definition. So the white floor leaves its own physical contact and initiates a sacred walk throughout the district. It is a common industrial floor.

The Melon District Project can be seen as a mini urbanization like a small area of the city which contains the urban sculpture.

The urban sculpture is like a big stone containing all the public programs. Where the urban sculpture and the city of Barcelona meet, is the reception, entrance and exit of the district.

This urban sculpture connects all the levels of the district and it is the main reference for orientation.


Floor: white polyurethane
Wall: polycarbonate varnished with white grafisms (light), painted wall gold
color (kitchen), natural mortar
Ceiling: double ceiling plaster

The living room is the heart of each melon flat where the public life is taking place (eating, talking, relaxing...). It is the social hub.

We provide a free platform, cubing landscape, which you can use for whatever activity you would like at that time. The social exchange is the main idea of this heart.

The important element of the living room is the kitchen, which is a golden wall with an inox table in front of it.

In each level you recognize the heart, the living room by its golden walls.


Floor: white polyurethane
Wall: polycarbonate (light), natural concrete, varnished mortar,
painted wall gold color
Ceiling: double ceiling painted plaster silver color

We create an urban atmosphere by using rough plaster and urban light team situation like indirect cubic light and polycarbonate facades. Always recognizable in this context is the urban sculpture.


Floor: white polyurethane
Wall: polycarbonate (light), varnished plaster with white grafisms,
white painted plaster
Ceiling: double ceiling plaster ral color, varnished natural concrete

Each melon flat has 9 hotels rooms where people share like in the district. "This room, it is what you wanted to be"

The white floor, present in the all project leads you in your room right to the exterior facade. The room is defined by an interior and an exterior facade and a mini urban sculpture.

The interior facade contains the bathroom and floods the room with an atmospheric light. The exterior facade lets in the natural light trough its window. One natural wall is one big picture, varnished plaster, suggesting a big opening in the room. The rough and unfinished concrete ceiling stand for athenticity and purity.

The traces and marks of the execution are visible. The decoincidence of imperfectivity gives the space the unique character and stand for the absence of design. Absence of hierarchy and design.

The white mini urban sculpture organises the room. It is a table, seat, cupboards and shelves combining all the needs of the space and communicates with the bed. The space full stop.

Communicating with the mini urban sculpture, the bed can be put in two positions, creating different relations with the space.


Floor: varnished transparent natural mortar, wood IPE, sand with transparent polyurethane
Wall: varnished transparent mortar, wood IPE, sand with transparent
polyurethane, polycarbonate (light), natural concrete

The urban figure reaches its higher level in the swimming pool-terrace. An active but also relaxing space where a beach atmosphere is created by the palm trees, the sand surface and the wood floor around the swimming pool.

The swimming pool is the heart of the district at the same that the living room is the heart of each level. The swimming pool is an empty volume integrated in the concrete volume (urban figure) and in the wood volume.

The urban figure does not have a beginning or an ending. It is an element which participates in everything, a sculpture shaped by the life spaces of the district.


A series of spaces that flows together to become one continuous space without any seams. The light sculptures created by using polycarbonate and hidden fluorescents.

The use of the essence of each material to keep its original textures. If it is not possible for technical reasons, transparent varnish or white painting are used.

The essence Melon District is given by these three materials:

- the white polyurethane
- the translucent polycarbonate
- the concrete

The spaces are multifunctional. According to the moment, a space is used for an activity or another. For example:

The bed is the sofa
The desk space is the dressing space next to the bathroom
The kitchen space is the dining space
The dining space is the lounge space
The reception space is the public park space

studios (ground floor)

Floor: white polyurethane
Wall: polycarbonate (light), varnished plaster
white painted plaster
Ceiling: varnished natural concrete

Considering the room height of 4 meters on the ground floor at parallel, we design the bed as a furniture on a upper level, so we gain more living surface in the studios.

The table to study is facing the window (patio) and a part of it is movable, so you can displace it and create a meal situation.