Font 6 Apartment

Complete Rehabilitation

Location
Barcelona, Spain.

Date

2018

Surface

75 m2

Project team

Margherita Serboli, Andrea Serboli, Matteo Colombo.

Photos

Roberto Ruiz

Layout

The apartment is located in a quiet and green passageway beside the Sagrada Familia.

The 1914 building is a fairly simple example of a modernist (Catalan Art Nouveau) building in the Eixample district. The apartment, bought in a state of neglect, presented some period elements, although most of them irreversibly compromised. The original layout consisted of a series of partitions, in full style of the modernist period, which divided the apartment into six rooms.

The challenge has been translated into the will to maintain the period elements that could be saved, without renouncing to a flat with a distinct contemporary character and as clear and diaphanous as possible.

The two bedrooms adjacent the entrance had original features in good condition and they have been restored in their original layout. 
 

Concept
The concept of the project is therefore guided by the idea of emptying the apartment and inserting a lacquered, wooden-clad, groovepaneled blue box in the middle of the floor plan, modulating and redefining the spaces around it in a more architectonic way. The box contains a bathroom, designed more as a relaxing and intimate area.

A semi-arc carves the blue volume transforming the corridor in an ample, curved ceiling hall that connects visually day and night areas, finished in a lighter blue.

The box inner skin is a very warm shade of pink micro-cement, meant to contrast with its cold exterior tones, wanting to convey the feeling of having reached a secret place, the most intimate point of the apartment: the bathroom. From the outside of its concealed doors, this warm coating can be slightly glimpsed and deduced only from the living room through a circular funneled-glass window, placed above the kitchen counter.

The blue box external surface acts as 4-season cabinets on the side towards the main bedroom, whilst on the light-colored corridor side hides wardrobe, technical cloakrooms and bathroom doors and finally becomes kitchen cupboards towards the living room.
In the living space, a large island hosting the hobs is designed as a detached piece of the box and doubles as a comfortable table for more intimate dinners or breakfasts. The airy and diaphanous living and kitchen space now benefits of the light of a new big French window that opens on the newly opened terrace, populated by plants.


Materials
In terms of materials, the entire apartment is treated spartanly and as a single container, with very neutral elements and colors: where the original floor could not be maintained, an ivory-colored, continuous micro-cement has been used.

All the false ceilings have been removed; Catalan vaults have been recovered and painted warm white. The neutrality of the described elements creates a container aimed to make the lacquered blue box stand out. Dashes of color contrasting with the prevailing blues are the coral painted beams, which trace reinforcing (both structurally and metaphorically) the ancient partitions that used to divide what today is a single open space. The same coral shade is used for the bespoke, curved bathroom cabinet.

On the terrace, the laundry door (rescued) is painted in coral, reappearing in the traditional ‘rasilla’ terracotta tiles of the outdoor floors. Punctual elements of more precious materials are mixed with more basic elements and combined to generate a feeling of affordable luxury, not ostentatious but to be searched in everyday details. It is the philosophy behind the use of brass in small elements such as the top of the micro-cement skirting boards or the thresholds where floors change; or the choice of Portobello marble as the kitchen countertop, backsplash and on the curved island and all the bespoke furniture pieces all lacquered and handle-less. The idea for the furnishing reflects the same philosophy, mixing luxury furniture with vintage pieces: neutral colors, objects collected in travels and paintings with a strong personal emotional character.