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Spanish Loft Reno Combines Modernism With Old World Charm

Lofty living near the beach

For years, this small apartment near Malvarrosa Beach on the coast of Valencia, Spain, was a cramped, divided space. A low plaster ceiling concealed the true height of the gable and a tiny interior courtyard cut up the usable floor area.

But after a redesign from Valencia-based AmBau Taller D'Arquitectes, the home has become an airy, open abode with all the character of its original detailing and the added chicness of modern design.

The client had two key requirements: that the home be a single room, and that it have a terrace. But eyeing the original woodwork and rich texture of the masonry stone walls, AmBau Taller kicked off the design process with a bit of editing—deciding which bits of the existing apartment would stay and which would be eliminated.

Out went the partition walls, dropped ceiling, and interior courtyard. The exposed brick walls, stone pillars, and newly revealed wooden beams were cleaned and restored.

With the ceiling’s new expansive height, the architects added a floating bedroom loft above the kitchen, keeping it artfully open with glass railings. The former courtyard became the loft’s skylight-topped staircase.

In the kitchen, the designers kept an existing wooden cupboard, painting it white. It’s more traditional style offering a counterpoint to the gray modernist kitchen cabinets. The simple, muted kitchen only enhances the visual texture of the exposed brick walls and wood beams.