Refurbishment of a piano nobile apartment on Carrer Avinyó in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. The apartment is situated at a major crossroads in the city. Like the Flatiron Building in New York, where Broadway meets the city’s orthogonal grid, the triangular plan of the apartment’s interior registers a similar moment in Barcelona’s historic quarter; Plaça George Orwell. Our first intervention is to strip back the internal partitions to reveal the junction and so reconnect living in the apartment to the streets beyond.
The apartment will be the holiday home of two brothers who grew up in Barcelona but now live in London and Hong Kong. New bedrooms are created inside large pieces of furniture that have the appearance of small buildings – the city beyond the apartment walls is mirrored by a diminutive city within. The high level library becomes balconies that connect each bedroom to their en-suite bathrooms. Beneath a balcony a glazed lobby provides a threshold between the apartment and the city.
The new mosaic floor of the apartment is decorated with a triangular pattern that matches the geometry of the plan. The tile pattern is graded in colour from green at one end of the apartment to red at the other to differentiate the brothers’ private spaces. The tiles were being made by Mosaics Martí who supplied the product for Gaudi’s projects in the city. A large, specially designed dining table stands at the street corner where the red and green are most mixed and will become the meeting place for family and friends.