vora de-clutters and accentuates history in juan’s apartment 
all images © adrià goula




the best part of refurbishment work is making the most of the pre-existing. apartments and homes, especially in the urban context, have layers and layers of lives and styles. some are bad, but plenty more are good. at a first glance, an old space can feel strange, a blurred atmosphere attempting to do too many things at the same time. such was the case at ‘juan’s apartment’, but fortunately the amalgamation of life in the apartment had some salvageable, distinct features.

vora juan's apartment designboom
kitchen area 




vora architecture saw these characteristics, which included a powerful spacial hierarchy, amazing mosaic floors, and huge wooden windows. while not of exceptional historical or heritage value, much of the apartment was perfectly re-usable and attractive as well. this led to a strategy based on reuse and transformation, over which they would superimpose updated details. 

vora de-clutters and accentuates history in juan's apartment
original mosaic floors 




to start, they stripped the walls and ceilings of all existing items and accessories. walls were cleaned, but not too well, with traces, marks, and layers of paint left to add to the structure. some areas were reinforced, cracks were fixed, and all things labelled critical were replaced in full. finally they homogenized the color throughout, and optimized natural light intake. as for the constructed portion of the project, vora created self-enclosed modules to contain various services and storage. the wood substructures are painted white to match the rest of the apartment, and efficiently rid the space of visual clutter.  

vora de-clutters and accentuates history in juan's apartment
storage area 

vora juan's apartment designboom
doors close or open the constructed storage spaces 


vora juan's apartment designboom
wall detail 

updated floor plan

old plan 

vora juan's apartment designboom



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom