When a client reached out to Spanish architectural firm Zooco Estudio to redesign his loft in Madrid, he requested that they turn the completely open space—empty save for two centrally located bathrooms—into a three-bedroom, two-bath home with space for work studios and entertaining.
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To meet the needs of the challenging brief, the architects turned to contemporary Japanese architecture for inspiration. Following a minimalist, MUJI-like aesthetic, the architects inserted a series of metal boxes of varying heights and sizes to divide the interior.
"The project consists of building a house inside of a house, which means that it is more similar to the process of building a single-family house than an interior rehabilitation," explain the architects. "This is because it has its own structure, enclosures, and installations."
Painted white to match the existing white brick walls, the eight-centimeter-wide metal elements were made as thin as possible to achieve a clean, streamlined appearance—yet they're thick enough to hide utility lines and support the upper floor and false ceilings.
Timber, waxed concrete, and glass round out the minimalist material palette, which complements the existing pine floors and wooden pillars.
"This structure is sometimes resting on the floor and other times hanging from the ceiling, and its in-between spaces are filled by wood or glass panels depending on the function they embrace," notes the firm. "The volume allows the development of different uses and scales; it offers both intimate and collective spaces."
Architect of Record: Zooco Estudio
Builder/General Contractor: Nimbo Proyectos SL
Structural Engineer: BEdV Architects
Lighting Design/Interior Design/Cabinetry Design: Zooco Estudio