Studio Miralles Tagliabue's low-cost overhaul of a nine-unit apartment building in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter embodies much of what makes the city's renovation projects so striking; mosaic tiles, arched ceilings, and other features representative of Gaudí-era Catalan architecture highlighted and offset by modern interventions. The firm had an interesting take on this sensibility—the same one that helped net one Barcelona apartment 2013's World Interior of the Year Award—leaving the building's original finishings exposed in striped sections, and adding in polycarbonate partitions to create an "urban mirror in which the passage of time is reflected." Below, see how four other local design studios deal with Barcelona's history when making over the city's living spaces.
Photos via CaSA
↑ To transform a "neglected, very badly distributed apartment" on the sixth floor of an Art Nouveau building into an "attractive holiday home," Colombo and Serboli Architecture started off by knocking down all the existing partitions. At one end of the space the firm put four "simple and almost basic" bedrooms, each with two layers of floor-to-ceiling window drapery brought in to "soften" the light-gray micro-cement floors. At the other end, CaSA created an indoor-outdoor lounge clad in terra-cotta tiles, where a slatted canopy visually extends the terraced section inside.
Photos via Miel Arquitectos
↑ Given a brief to turn a 700-square-foot apartment into an "experiment in shared micro living," Barcelona firms Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 installed live-work spaces positioned at both ends of the narrow unit. Each bedroom has a balcony, a thin loft lined with low shelves, an open bathroom area with encaustic tiles, and translucent sliding panels that channel light into the communal kitchen at the center.
Photos via Arch Daily
↑ Peeling back the layers of plaster and stucco covering up the original features of an 1878 flat in Barcelona's Eixample district, architect Sergi Pons uncovered walls and vaulted ceilings of handmade brick, presenting them, "noble and dazzling, like an old wine that floods joyfully out of the bottle in to a glass, free from frame." To complement the "nobility concealed in the traditional materials," the poetically inclined designer installed oak parquet flooring and walls of traditional lime stucco, and rebuilt the kitchen and bathrooms with white chip wood.
· CaSA renovates Rocha Apartment with an assortment of tiles [Dezeen]
· 9 Flats Low Cost Renovation in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona / EMBT [Arch Daily]
· Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 design Barcelona apartment for "shared micro living" [Dezeen]
· Renovation of an apartment in Eixample / Sergi Pons [Arch Daily]