10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
Homeland to Gaudí, Miró, and Almodóvar—just to name a few of the country's creative pioneers—Spain hosts a lively mix of both tradition and modernity.

If you’re looking for some architectural inspiration, take a peek at the following 10 modern renovations that hail from this Mediterranean nation. Each of them gives a nod to the past while being transformed into a contemporary stunner. Viva España!


When Spanish designer Jaime Hayon and his wife snapped up this 2,600-square-foot, late-18th-century flat in Valencia, it needed a total renovation—they’ve since filled it with vintage finds, as well as Hayon’s own designs and prototypes.  

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 1 of 10 - According to Jaime Hayon, "A home needs to be warm, comfortable, and full of light and have an overall peaceful environment."

According to Jaime Hayon, "A home needs to be warm, comfortable, and full of light and have an overall peaceful environment."

Tucked away in the Aran Valley of the Spanish Pyrenees, this historic house was constructed with a dry, gray stone that can be found throughout the region. 

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 2 of 10 - The renovation by the architects at Cadaval & Solà-Morales generated a new and contemporary space while still respecting the historic home and its surrounding environment.

The renovation by the architects at Cadaval & Solà-Morales generated a new and contemporary space while still respecting the historic home and its surrounding environment.

When an apartment became available in the seven-story, red-brick building in Madrid’s central Ventas district where he grew up, Joaquin Altamirano and his wife, Silvia Martín, jumped on it. However, the 753-square-foot penthouse apartment suffered from a cramped layout, with spaces for cooking, sleeping, and bathing divided into cell-like rooms and linked by a dark hallway. The couple contacted Daniel Bergman Vázquez, a partner at Estudio Untercio—who Martín had met in her teens—to undertake the renovation plan. It included connecting the terrace to an open-plan living space.   

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 3 of 10 - The living and kitchen areas were reconfigured to seamlessly join a terrace surfaced with artificial turf and Nature Teka decking by Disegna. The beam was coated in a shade of turquoise paint that matches the Acapulco chairs.

The living and kitchen areas were reconfigured to seamlessly join a terrace surfaced with artificial turf and Nature Teka decking by Disegna. The beam was coated in a shade of turquoise paint that matches the Acapulco chairs.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Ibiza—the famed Spanish party island—rug designer Nani Marquina and photographer Albert Font created a serene, site-sensitive home. Originally built 150 years ago as the home of a peasant farmer—the residence had been abandoned for at least 40 years until they bought it in 2005. The home was renovated using largely traditional methods and heritage finishes, without altering the basic structure in any shape or form. 

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 4 of 10 - In Marquina and Font’s living room, a pair of kilim-covered chairs by Philippe Xerri, a chest of drawers by Piet Hein Eek, and a handmade Tunisian rug provide bursts of color amidst the overall scheme of white, ecru, and cream.

In Marquina and Font’s living room, a pair of kilim-covered chairs by Philippe Xerri, a chest of drawers by Piet Hein Eek, and a handmade Tunisian rug provide bursts of color amidst the overall scheme of white, ecru, and cream.

This Barcelona renovation brought light and order to a Spanish flat, while maintaining its original vaulted ceilings.

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 5 of 10 - A confused layout meant that the original apartment had a series of dark, confined rooms. The designers eliminated a third bedroom and enlarged the living room. The previous kitchen was separated from the living area by a tight hallway. Nook's reconfiguration attached the kitchen directly to the living room, at the client's request.

A confused layout meant that the original apartment had a series of dark, confined rooms. The designers eliminated a third bedroom and enlarged the living room. The previous kitchen was separated from the living area by a tight hallway. Nook's reconfiguration attached the kitchen directly to the living room, at the client's request.

This farmhouse is located in Ayerbe—a mountainous region of Spain that has been rapidly losing its traditional style. Architect Àngels Castellarnau paid homage to the past while addressing more contemporary concerns, such as energy use. 

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 6 of 10 - The house is one of 40 finalists for the TERRA Award, an international prize for earthen homes, which will be announced on July 14.

The house is one of 40 finalists for the TERRA Award, an international prize for earthen homes, which will be announced on July 14.

This 2,583-square-foot apartment shared by designer Elina Vila D’Acosta-Calheiros and her husband Ginés Gorriz, is located in the upmarket L’Eixample area of Barcelona. The unit features original Art Nouveau details: richly ornamented plasterwork, floor-to-ceiling windows with wooden shutters and brass hinges, and porcelain handles on the doors. "Respecting the location is a part of our philosophy," explains Vila D’Acosta-Calheiros, who was born in Cuba and studied architectural restoration in Mexico. They made a few strategic structural changes, but she "let her surroundings speak, and listened carefully to what they had to say." The result is spectacularly modern. 

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 7 of 10 - In the dining room, a Poul Henningsen lamp hovers over a table by Philipp Mainzer for E15, surrounded by Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. The artwork is by Maria Sanchez. The designer added a Banco kitchen by Dada with Jasper Morrison stools.

In the dining room, a Poul Henningsen lamp hovers over a table by Philipp Mainzer for E15, surrounded by Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. The artwork is by Maria Sanchez. The designer added a Banco kitchen by Dada with Jasper Morrison stools.

This minimalist renovation of a 1970s residence is known as the Home in Mitre. Designed by Bajet Giramé Architects, it’s located in Barcelona, Spain.

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 8 of 10 - The aim of the project was to make the apartment new again, without significant setting or character changes. 

The aim of the project was to make the apartment new again, without significant setting or character changes. 

Three years after relocating to Barcelona in 2004, Petz Scholtus and her partner and structural engineer, Sergio Carratala, found a nearly-625-square-foot apartment in an 18th-century building at the heart of the Barri Gòtic. While renovating the apartment, Scholtus was guided by what she calls the "5 Rs" of eco-design: reuse, reduce, recycle, restore, respect. They were successfully able to use eco-friendly and recycled materials, reduce water and energy consumption, and create as little waste as possible without sacrificing the aesthetics or comfort of their home. 

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 9 of 10 - Wishing to avoid using harsh chemicals, the couple had the 18th-century beams and French doors in the living room and elsewhere sandblasted to rid them of woodlice. The rug, by Nani Marquina, is renewable and biodegradable as well as ethically produced.

Wishing to avoid using harsh chemicals, the couple had the 18th-century beams and French doors in the living room and elsewhere sandblasted to rid them of woodlice. The rug, by Nani Marquina, is renewable and biodegradable as well as ethically produced.

After relocating from Paris to Valencia in 2010, paper artist Pierre Pozzi embarked on a three-year renovation of a 1,970-square-foot apartment, which now features a mix of modern furniture, original architectural details (like ceramic tile floors and crown moldings), and his own artwork. Here, he created his own paper fringe wallpaper for the dining room walls.    

10 Modern Renovations to Homes in Spain - Photo 10 of 10 - Pedrali’s orange Frida 752 chair, two metal Tolix Marais chairs, and Philippe Starck’s Olly Tango seat surround a dining table that resident Pierre Pozzi wrapped in paper.

Pedrali’s orange Frida 752 chair, two metal Tolix Marais chairs, and Philippe Starck’s Olly Tango seat surround a dining table that resident Pierre Pozzi wrapped in paper.