RAS architecture transforms barcelona basement into apartment tibbaut
all images courtesy of josé hevia




‘apartment tibbaut’ is located in a former nightmare-inducing basement in the depths of barcelona. measuring barely 55m2, the space has a single entrance from above, which is one of three providers of natural light. deep and dark, it was slightly less than inviting. but when a client came to raúl sánchez of RAS architecture looking to transform it into a small apartment, he took the challenge head-on.

entrance stairwell 




for all its flaws, the basement had its perks. it was simply built, and had a bold appearance thanks to the presence of two octagonal stone pillars which vault into the domed ceiling. the semi-open plan developed splits the space into two overlapping living spaces. a centrally located common area takes care of all public activities; with private spaces located in a circle around the circular home’s periphery.

bathroom, toilet through doorway 




partition walls made of laminated pine divide each private area, but don’t reach all the way to the ceiling. this allows for the domed ceiling to be visible and continuous throughout the home, satisfying the client’s want for an open layout, and simultaneously letting natural light into the rooms. to further increase the space’s sunlight levels all floors and walls are painted white.

RAS architecture apartment tibbaut barcelona spain designboom
below entrance stairs, looking into central space 




constructing ‘apartment tibbaut’ was a slow process due to the nature of the building. lack of ventilation and light drastically extended drying times for surfaces, as well as the time workers could safely inhabit the area. before adding walls, the floor needed to be artificially raised and layered with waterproofing and insulating layers. RAS also placed a heater and air-ventilation system that runs directly to a dehumidifier. gradually, the apartment was fully dried and rendered complete. the result is a comfortable, humidity-free space that looks, and feels, much bigger than 55m2

the outer circle includes: bedroom, dressing room, bathroom, storage, kitchen, and study

partition walls aren’t extended to the ceiling

RAS architecture apartment tibbaut barcelona spain designboom
kitchen counter 


RAS architecture apartment tibbaut barcelona spain designboom
one of two stone octagonal pillars located in the building 

common area 

storage is located under and behind the stairs 

RAS architecture apartment tibbaut barcelona spain designboom
stairs from above 

floor plan

space before renovations 



project info:


project name: apartment tibbaut
project site: barcelona, spain
engineering: mares ingenieros
structure: sustenta
photography: josé hevia
project: 2014
construction: january – june 2015
client: private commission
built surface: 55 square meters



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom