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.
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.
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.
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.
This Barcelona renovation brought light and order to a Spanish flat, while maintaining its original vaulted ceilings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get the Renovations Newsletter
From warehouse conversions to rehabbed midcentury gems, to expert advice and budget breakdowns, the renovation newsletter serves up the inspiration you need to tackle your next project.