barcelona-based practice raúl sánchez architects completely renovated a non-functional and unattractive interior. starting from the building’s construction and structural constraints in which the apartment is inserted — based on load-bearing walls with a clear and defined bay structure — the project proposes three large program blocks.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
the project proposes three large program blocks
all images © josé hevia 

 

 

in the first access-related block, raúl sánchez placed the entrance, the guest bathroom (from which you access the laundry room) and the guest bedroom. the second block contains the master bedroom and the adjoining walk-in closet and bathroom. the third block comprises a single large space with the kitchen, the dining room and the living room, acting as a swivel joint between the two other blocks.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
the third block is a single large space where we find the kitchen, the dining room and the living room

 

 

each block includes a service and living space, and the relationship established between these two areas is based on a change of material code — an idea which suggests an intangible separation of planes. service spaces are covered in gray materials, like stoneware floors, and granite or micro-cement on impervious surfaces.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
each block includes a service space and a living space

 

 

by contrast, living spaces are completely white with parquet floors. thus, it is the material code that establishes the position of each function, even when the rooms are completely open and communicated. in the master bedroom, the separation with the walk-in-closet-bathroom is achieved with the same material code in the same intangible plane. this extends through the kitchen-dining-living space through the load bearing wall, and with two iron and textured glass sliding doors, lacquered in grey, and placed to provide greater privacy without segregating the space. the guest bedroom and bathroom have their own independent access, but are connected to facilitate their en suite use.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
the living spaces are completely white with parquet floors

 

 

an axis connects the entrance with the balcony. this axis first blends into the entrance hall configuration in a large closet with flush doors and later disappears when it reaches the kitchen-dining space. the door to the lobby is same as the door to the balcony.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
the kitchen

 

 

the width of the lobby is repeated on the balcony in the turn of the black lacquered wooden bench, so the axis of circulation is indicated, but without the need to build a corridor. even the balcony’s ceramic tile changes direction following this blurred corridor.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
the bathroom

 

 

the relationship between the living room and the balcony is achieved through two large black-lacquered sliding windows. they are placed above a bench that extends in the same way indoors and outdoors, so when the windows are open, the balcony and the living room are closely connected. when closed, they act as a bench, table, bookshelf on both sides. 

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
the bedroom

 

 

from the client’s predetermined conventional organization, the project proposes adding layers of complexity to the interior experience of the house, adding ambiguity to the classic labels of each room, as well as to the way they relate to each other.

raúl sánchez divides apartment space based on a change of material code
domesticoshop‘s furniture in the interior      

 

 

 

project info:

 

title: apartamento villarroel
architecture: raúl sánchez
location: barcelona
team: marés ingenieros (engineering); pau just, cayetano de la torre (architecture)
photography: josé hevia 
all furniture courtesy of domesticoshop
faucets: icónico y vola
kitchen tops and sides: sensa by cosentino
windows: cortizo
construction: may-august 2017
client: private
area: 90 sqm