This 721-square-foot apartment in one of the oldest high-rises in Barcelona’s bohemian Poble Sec neighborhood was organized around one long hallway that ended in a gallery. There, a row of windows overlooked a lush, green space, but every other room was shut off from light and views.
"This house conceals something very surprising," says Nook Architects, who led the renovation. "Its partitioned interior leads to a luscious, apple-green oasis, full of sunlight. However, this outdoor space was all but imperceptible from the apartment itself. Therefore, from the outset of this project, strengthening the visual and spatial connection between these two spaces would be key."
Before: Hallway and Gallery
"The owners were looking for a home for their family of three, in which the common space would be the main focus," says the firm. The focus of this apartment was the central hall with its many doors, so the firm started by downsizing the number of bedrooms and baths to the "bare minimum, leaving just enough space for the beds and wardrobes" in the bedrooms.
In the process, the firm eliminated a powder bath and bedroom, then consolidated the living areas, moving the kitchen down the hallway so that it now sits beside a designated dining room and joins with the living areas. The family’s storage needs were assessed before any rooms were removed. "This important step allowed us to modify the existing layout and create a wide, open daytime area: an all-in-one living room, dining room, and kitchen," says the firm.
After: Dining Room and Daybed
Regarding materials, the firm limited the palette to "those previously present: wood, marble and ceramics." That way, the new interventions blend easily with what was there. Existing woodwork at the windows was stripped and cleaned, and additional wood was used for the new built-in shelving, storage, and kitchen cabinets. New wood and ceramic tile flooring were installed, the cool tones contrasting with the original vaulted ceiling, which was exposed to reveal its terra-cotta color.
Before: Kitchen and Living Room
After: Kitchen and Living Room
Builder: Metric Integra
Structural Engineer: Francesc Gorgas
Lighting Design: Nook Architects
Interior Design: Nook Architects
Cabinetry Design and Installation: Nook Architects
Photography: Gael del Río