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December 29, 2011

Layer by layer, a crumbling 18th-century flat in the middle of Barcelona finds new life at the hands of architect Benedetta Tagliabue.

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  When architect Benedetta Tagliabue and her husband, the late architect Enric Miralles, began knocking down walls inside what was to become their home they discovered an original arch suspected to be a remnant of the city’s Roman past.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    When architect Benedetta Tagliabue and her husband, the late architect Enric Miralles, began knocking down walls inside what was to become their home they discovered an original arch suspected to be a remnant of the city’s Roman past.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Once through the street-level entrance, the property's modern garage door comes into view. Stairs lead up to the kitchen.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Once through the street-level entrance, the property's modern garage door comes into view. Stairs lead up to the kitchen.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Immediately halting the crew, Tagliabue and Miralles decided instead to celebrate the juxtaposition by leaving it all in situ. The painting at right was also found inside the meandering structure, which had been unoccupied for decades.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Immediately halting the crew, Tagliabue and Miralles decided instead to celebrate the juxtaposition by leaving it all in situ. The painting at right was also found inside the meandering structure, which had been unoccupied for decades.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Freestanding shelving by Miralles holds yet more tomes from the family’s prodigious collection. Irregularly placed tilework on the floor follows the trajectory of the sun’s rays as it travels across the room.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Freestanding shelving by Miralles holds yet more tomes from the family’s prodigious collection. Irregularly placed tilework on the floor follows the trajectory of the sun’s rays as it travels across the room.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  The glowing anemone-like lamp is from Vinçon in Barcelona.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    The glowing anemone-like lamp is from Vinçon in Barcelona.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Paths of Andalusian tile and intervening plaster walls help to delineate space in the expansive apartment, which is centered around an internal entry courtyard. The armchair, designed by Peter and Alison Smithson, is covered in a Josef Frank textile from Just Scandinavian. The white piece just behind it is a repurposed Austrian stove that’s now used as a storage device.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Paths of Andalusian tile and intervening plaster walls help to delineate space in the expansive apartment, which is centered around an internal entry courtyard. The armchair, designed by Peter and Alison Smithson, is covered in a Josef Frank textile from Just Scandinavian. The white piece just behind it is a repurposed Austrian stove that’s now used as a storage device.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  In one area of the apartment, Tagliabue’s son, Domenec, plays drums in front of a sliding wood panel of the architects’ design.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    In one area of the apartment, Tagliabue’s son, Domenec, plays drums in front of a sliding wood panel of the architects’ design.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Resting atop an oak table by Miralles, amidst a collection of tchotchkes, is the “B” trophy awarded to the pair for their work on the Santa Caterina Market rehabilitation project. A Louis Poulsen lamp hangs just above.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Resting atop an oak table by Miralles, amidst a collection of tchotchkes, is the “B” trophy awarded to the pair for their work on the Santa Caterina Market rehabilitation project. A Louis Poulsen lamp hangs just above.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  In her library, Tagliabue works at a table designed by Miralles.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    In her library, Tagliabue works at a table designed by Miralles.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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    Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  In the dining room, which opens to the backyard terrace, original tilework on the floors and walls complement decidedly modern counterparts—an original 1938 Butterfly chair by Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, and a 1983 TMC floor lamp by Spanish designer Miguel Milá.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    In the dining room, which opens to the backyard terrace, original tilework on the floors and walls complement decidedly modern counterparts—an original 1938 Butterfly chair by Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, and a 1983 TMC floor lamp by Spanish designer Miguel Milá.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

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  One of the most significant architectural developments within Tagliabue’s property is the pool house, which features a shallow lap pool and a wood-burning fireplace.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    One of the most significant architectural developments within Tagliabue’s property is the pool house, which features a shallow lap pool and a wood-burning fireplace.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  At one end of the space, which is topped by a barrel ceiling, a hammock offers a tantalizingly cozy place to nap.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    At one end of the space, which is topped by a barrel ceiling, a hammock offers a tantalizingly cozy place to nap.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  French doors line one wall that extends from the library to the first-floor sitting room and office.  Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    French doors line one wall that extends from the library to the first-floor sitting room and office.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

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  More custom bookshelves in an upstairs sitting room, cleverly inserted into the villa's extant niches.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    More custom bookshelves in an upstairs sitting room, cleverly inserted into the villa's extant niches.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Tagliabue made sense of the soaring volume in the library by installing double-height custom bookcases that can be accessed via a catwalk.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Tagliabue made sense of the soaring volume in the library by installing double-height custom bookcases that can be accessed via a catwalk.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  A detail of a wall illustrates Benedetta's eye for pattern and texture.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    A detail of a wall illustrates Benedetta's eye for pattern and texture.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Strong lines on the floor and the walls reinforce the notion of old and new.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Strong lines on the floor and the walls reinforce the notion of old and new.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Benedetta's son's bedroom, which is on the second floor of the villa. The bed is her own design.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Benedetta's son's bedroom, which is on the second floor of the villa. The bed is her own design.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Tagliabue and her husband, enthusiastic book lovers, collected thousands of volumes for their library.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Tagliabue and her husband, enthusiastic book lovers, collected thousands of volumes for their library.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Benedetta poses with her pet bird, who keeps watch on the entrance courtyard below from his perch in the library.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Benedetta poses with her pet bird, who keeps watch on the entrance courtyard below from his perch in the library.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  Sliding panels of Tagliabue's design delineate space in the first-floor sitting room, which opens to an office.  Photo by: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    Sliding panels of Tagliabue's design delineate space in the first-floor sitting room, which opens to an office.

    Photo by: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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