Andrea Serboli, co-founder of architecture firm CaSA, purchased a neglected apartment steps from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, with big plans to make it his own. A choppy layout partitioned the compact, 800-square-foot apartment into a confounding six-bedroom plan. The compact space was subsequently transformed by CaSA and Margherita Serboli Arquitectura.
Serboli planned the transformative project both as an outlet to showcase his firm’s creative point of view, and to build a warm and inviting residence that he would personally enjoy calling home. His vision for the space was to create a wunderkammer, German (loosely) for "room of curiosities." Serboli wanted a place to showcase personal art and treasures—both from his own travels and from his friends who are painters, illustrators, and sculptors.
The compact nature of the space informed important design directions, one of which was the introduction and recurring theme of arcs and gentle curves throughout the apartment. "Everything started from the desire to eliminate, conceptually, the long [entry] corridor. It was not enough to shorten it: The semi-circle form of the ceiling [gave] the corridor more aesthetic value," says Serboli. Curved forms are also echoed in the circular bathroom window, kitchen hood, kitchen island, marble backsplash, and bathroom vanity—all of which add visual intrigue and soften divisions in the space.
The locus of the design is a wood-paneled blue "box" in the center of the apartment, which evolves and shifts to define different spaces of the residence. Contained in the box, the home’s central bathroom, is nearly hidden by the paneling when the door is closed. Upon entry, the warmer coral hues elicit a feeling of privacy, intimacy, and relaxation. The blue box melts into integrated storage on the bedroom side and built-in cabinets on the kitchen side, while a lighter hue of blue on the corridor’s ceiling signals a transition from public to private space.
Shop the Look
With personal art and treasures on display, and playful punctuations of color, Serboli’s apartment is a wunderkammer which makes the most of a compact footprint.