casa 1616: a modern, brick townhouse


In the heart of Barcelona‘s dense urban landscape, HARQUITECTES renovates this Casa 1616 townhouse into a contemporary, sunlit home. Nestled between partition walls in a dense neighborhood, this single-family house stands with an elongated, narrow structure featuring a brick facade that opens on both ends — one street-facing, and one spilling onto a landscaped rear garden. The street-facing front shows a dialogue between the old and new, as rusticated brickwork and arched openings are contrasted by the modern elements of the new intervention.

harquitectes casa 1616images © Adrià Goula



harquitectes renovates an urban retreat in barcelona


HARQUITECTES’ Casa 1616 renovation revolves around two fundamental decisions: prioritizing privacy within the structure while establishing a strong connection to the exterior through a well-conceived garden. These choices define the essence of the house and create a unique living experience. To enhance privacy, each of the three levels of the house is assigned a specific user profile. Meanwhile, the street-facing side of the house accommodates the staircase space, serving as a buffer between the interior and the busy street outside. This thoughtful arrangement ensures that the floors remain open and spacious while transforming the staircase into a functional patio that ensures natural ventilation and shields the house from street noise.

harquitectes casa 1616the rear facade opens onto a private garden



The ground floor of Casa 1616 is dedicated to communal and social functions of the family, and it merges into a continuous, open space. This area benefits from the footprint of an original construction on the plot, creating a generous place for family gatherings and daily life. The first floor is allocated for the children’s needs — serving as a space for play and study — while the upper floor caters to the rest and work areas for the parents. This strategic distribution of spaces ensures that the house adapts to the diverse needs of its occupants while maintaining a clear and cohesive spatial organization.

harquitectes casa 1616a row of narrow, full-height windows floods the white-painted living area with daylight



a forest of pillars


To accommodate the various functions of the house without sacrificing the integrity of the space, HARQUITECTES employed a thoughtful structural approach. Traditional load-bearing walls parallel to the facade are replaced with a dense grid of cross-shaped brick pillars. These pillars both define the core attributes of each floor and serve as the primary structural elements that organize the floor plans and even the facades. Horizontal slabs elegantly transmit forces to these slender pillars through equally refined ribs, creating a sense of structural harmony that rhythmically divides the open interiors.

harquitectes casa 1616
open interiors are divided by a dense grid of cross-shaped structural pillarsharquitectes casa 1616
the street-facing side of the house accommodates the staircase space




project info:


project title: Casa 1616

architecture: HARQUITECTES | @harquitectes

location: Barcelona, Spain

design team: David Lorente, Josep Ricart, Xavier Ros, Roger Tudó

collaborators: Sara Ferran, Meri Mensa, Blai Cabrero, Maria Azkarate

structural engineering: DSM arquitectura

quantity surveyor: Carles Bou

landscape: Carme Ferrer

construction: ARTÍFEX

completion: 2022

photography: © Adrià Goula | @adriagoulaphoto