Raúl Sánchez Architects updates Barcelona apartment with grey granite
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Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

Raúl Sánchez Architects updates Barcelona flat with grey granite and bright white walls

Spanish practice Raúl Sánchez Architects has employed contrasting materials to carve out different zones in the open-plan living space of this apartment in Barcelona's Eixample district.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

The owner of the Villarroel apartment, a bachelor in his early forties, approached the locally based practice with an open renovation brief. He requesting the addition of an en-suite to his bedroom and the creation of another room that could be used as guest quarters or a study.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

However, the architects were challenged by the apartment's layout, which they described as formerly having "no interest at all, no intelligent use of natural light, no complexity".

"Initially, the client had in mind a conventional layout, with separated spaces, and it was our challenge to turn that standard layout into something more complex and flexible," studio founder Raúl Sanchez told Dezeen.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

The architects decided to arrange the property into three main zones and trade any existing partition walls for different "material codes" that would distinguish rooms from one another.

While living areas would feature whitewashed walls and wooden flooring, functional areas like the kitchen and bathrooms would be completed in shades of grey.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

"The apartment will, with time, be full of little things, books, decoration and all kind of objects…so the colour palette also allows this future explosion of colour to take place," Sánchez explained.

The first zone plays host to the apartment's entranceway and guest room, which has been furnished with a desk should the client wish to use it as a workspace.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

An open-plan dining and sitting area lies within the second zone. The kitchen is anchored by a granite breakfast island and has been fitted with slate-coloured stone floors, which contrast against the warm parquet floors in the adjacent lounge.

This space is fronted by a large window that overlooks a white-tiled balcony – the window's chunky ledge also offers inhabitants an alternative place to sit or display their possessions.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

The third zone contains the master bedroom, which features full-height shelves integrated into the walls. A panel of textured glass slides back to reveal a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom, decorated with unevenly finished stucco walls and circular mirrors.

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

Raul Sanchez Architects previously used patterned tiles, micro-cement and marble to define living spaces in a narrow Barcelona dwelling. In another renovation project, the firm erected a circular pine wall to create rooms in a vaulted basement home.

Photography is by José Hevia.


Project credits:

Architecture: Raúl Sanchez Architects
Engineering: Marés Ingenieros

More images and plans

Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects
Site plan
Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects
Apartment floor plan
Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects
Apartment sections
Villarroel apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects
Axonometric drawing