Cadaval & Solà-Morales converts a 19th-century theater into a lofty live/work space with an industrial edge.
Located in Barcelona’s formerly industrial Poblenou neighborhood, El Teatro (in English, The Theater) began its life as a 19th-century brick theater. That building was then converted into a barn, then later into a toilet paper factory, and, most recently, into a thoughtful, light-filled residence by the Barcelona– and Mexico City–based architecture firm of Cadaval & Sola-Morales.
The original building provided a rich assortment of materials and details to work with—in particular the exterior walls, the gable roof, the ceiling trusses, and the loft-like quality of the central space.
The building, originally rectangular in plan, is entered through a large central doorway; this leads into a short corridor that opens out into the open-plan living, dining, and cooking area. The high ceilings here expose the historic wood trusses, and a portion of the roof is raised higher to create a small clerestory for more daylight.
A back corner has been removed to create a rear outdoor space that is enclosed on two sides with original brick walls and new glass and metal mullions on the other sides. This provides for ample daylight to come into the space, as well as a private garden and small pool for the owners.
The large, open space of the communal rooms in the center of the home is divided into zones because of its L-shaped plan. Bold, geometric furniture helps define each of the functional zones throughout the roughly 3,500-square-foot home; for example, a large glass table and shelving system take up an office space abutting the outdoor patio.
The exterior space consists largely of hardscape—a deck with cloth hammocks—and a small pool, but greenery softens the edges and provides a leafy contrast to the red brick and reflective glass.