barcelona-based architect anna noguera has completed the renovation of a historic building located in the heart of the original walled city center of girona, spain, titled alemanys 5.  the masonry home enjoys a privileged location on a street that funnels views to one of the city’s oldest gates, and inversely can be seen from the gate framed within the context of the town with the cathedral as the overarching backdrop. the age of the building remains unknown, however it is documented that the last significant alteration happened in the 16th century and has since then underwent a series of renovations that have resulted in a varied, if not disparate, collages of architectural styles and spatial re-definitions.  

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every element in the home has been rejuvenated with contemporary materials
image © anna noguera (also first image)

 

 

upon starting the project, anna noguera sought to rediscover the original elements that made up the ancient building and establish a new relationship to the spatial and functional organization and the aesthetic elements that defined them.  all throughout alemanys 5 there is a clear compromise between original details and materials and the respectful injection of a contemporary influence. one never overpowers the other, instead the minimal simplicity of raw steel, wood, or glass forms a backdrop that highlights the contrasting stone elements.  

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the ground floor features the original stone stairs and archway over a steel and wood backdrop
image © anna noguera

 

 

the layout of the plan consists of two legs slightly angle from one another to form a wedge-like space between them that hosts the staircase. one wing faces the public street while the other opens onto a side patio that ensures a private exterior buffer space separating the building from the neighbors. the patio itself is conceived as a series of three plans that transition from hard to soft, from concrete, to grass, to water that reflects the surrounding stone wall defining the pool’s shape. an old cistern collects rainwater to re-use in the garden and to fill up the pool. on the ground floor, a garage and workshop areas inhabit the cooler area of the home.  on the first level, a private 2-bedroom residence enjoy access onto the patio, while the second and third levels contain a separate duplex residence with a rooftop patio.

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the stone courtyard provides light and ventilation in the space, housing the cistern that collects water
image © anna noguera

 

 

along the outside, thin steel sheets frame a mosaic of materials around the house, sectioning off the various materials and constructions that make up the exterior facade. in the interior, planes of raw steel are offset by softer elements of oak wood and complemented by the rougher textures of exposed concrete. large openings in the exterior walls flood the interior with light, highlighting the mix of textures from the stone wall to the wood floors. ceilings are opened up to expose the floor/ roof structure above, in the case of the rooftop deck revealing the underside of the original ceramic roof tiles. 

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the stairs occupy the central space in the home servicing the separate units
image © anna noguera

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steel wood and glass re-define the space
image © anna noguera

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the original stone walls mesh with new plaster walls and concrete floors
image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © designboom

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the different construction styles implemented over the years are revealed throughout the structure
image © anna noguera

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imperfections in the home were not corrected but instead embraced, resulting in unique functional elements
image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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the grass lawn floats above the water that reflects the bounding walls of the property
image © anna noguera

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image © anna noguera

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the side patio is defined entirely by stone
image © anna noguera

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all the materials and styles are delicately stitched together with clean details
image © anna noguera

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view of the house before the renovation
image © anna noguera

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view of the house after the renovation
image © anna noguera