When Cecilia Tham and Yoel Karaso of Habitan Architects bought their first-floor apartment in an 1894 block of the Fort Pienc neighborhood of Barcelona in 2005, they knew they were taking a risk. Casa Alí Bei was a bargain because it is afectado (“affected”)—that is, the land is zoned for redevelopment. A baby (Hanna) on the way, the possibility of being evicted, and a tight budget necessitated a canny renovation strategy, yet one that still honored the dazzling turn-of-the-century tile work and ornate moldings. A stone’s throw from Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar, the apartment, like the neighborhood, has been reborn as a patchwork of old and new. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.
For some, living “green” is all about making a statement. But for Petz Scholtus, it boils down to common sense. The eco-designer was raised on a farm in Luxembourg, and she’s brought a feeling for the natural world to her residence in Barcelona, Spain. “Growing up on a farm influenced my ideas,” she explains. “There it was all about life cycles, materials that flow, eating, composting, growing...”
Rounding a corner into Seville's Plaza de la Encarnación, architect J. Mayer H.'s massive waffle-like structure emerges out of the medieval streets, casting checkered shadows on the centuries-old buildings.
Designed by Spanish architects RCR Arquitectes, La Bodega is a winery situated on a private vineyard near the coastal town of Palamos. The architecture strikes a balance between the artificial and the natural, existing within a man-made valley cut into the Catalan landscape.