Estudio vilablanch transforms an old textile warehouse into a loft with an industrial look, intentionally exposing the elements that show the different stages the building went through.
LOCATION AND ORIGIN
The house is located on the main floor of a building located on the border of the old town of Barcelona, right on the edge where the ancient city wall used to be. Originally, the building served the textile industry, but around 1890 it underwent a transformation and was converted into a modernist-style residential building. At this time, the Nolla floors and the polychrome coffered ceilings were added and a typical distribution of housing towards the street and the block patio was made.
When the clients commissioned vilablanch studio, the space had been operating as a warehouse for many years. All the interior partitions had been removed, the cast-iron pillars were covered with concrete to fireproof them, the ceiling joists and vaults had been fireproofed and covered with false ceilings and the modernist flooring had been removed or covered with various layers of superimposed flooring.
Winning project of the bulthaup "Kitchen as a Living Space" Award 2018
The modernist stage of the building was impossible to recover since the coffered ceilings, doors and modernist floors had been destroyed or badly damaged. For this reason, vilablanch decided to make visible the different stages that this building went through, defining three periods and highlighting their corresponding elements.
1) Industrial Stage The structural elements were recovered and left exposed to show the industrial style of the house: the iron pillars that were hidden inside the concrete columns, the structural beams (also hidden behind walls or false ceilings), the ceilings with the vault and the joists. The loft-like layout is also inspired by the industrial origins of the building. The initial container was barely touched: the original perimeter walls were left plaster finish after the new installations were made.
2) Modernist Stage The industrial structure was made to coexist with the modernist elements that could be recovered. The old floors were discovered in some areas, filling the spaces between them with continuous concrete, and the original wooden carpentry of the house was recovered in the main door access, two windows and two balconies.
3) New intervention The new dividing partitions that make up the three rooms and their respective bathrooms were made with dry partitions and integrated doors without a frame and with white handles, in order that the elements necessary for the new use were discrete and rigorous in conception. An iron staircase giving access to a loft was installed in the lounge area. The weather facilities were left exposed and the lighting was resolved with seen lanes running parallel to the joists. Staircase, loft, glass and installations seen, next to the fragments of continuous concrete in the ground, are a gesture of complicity in the initial industrial stage of this space.The key to the interior design project is to make sure that the home has a clear reading of its overlapping stages. No decoration, no artifice, everything is real.
A large open rectangle - 21 m long x 5.70 m wide and 4 m high - contains the living areas and extends out onto the terrace. Two rooms are connected to this rectangle frontally, with windows facing the street, and a third room - with a window to the terrace area - connected laterally. Each of these rooms has its own bathroom. The kitchen is open and located in the center of the house, organizing the space between the most private area -to the right of the entrance- and the day area to its left. A volumetric stone element - 130 cm high by 570 cm long - covers the kitchen frontally, partially hides it from the entrance and creates a corridor that leads to the living area and the terrace. In the living room, an iron staircase gives access to a loft that functions as a library and an office.
Furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathrooms
For the furnishing project, pieces from the best contemporary design brands were chosen, such as Finn Juhl, Cassina, De la Espada, Capellini, Poltrona Frau, Zanotta, Fritz Hansen, USM, Knoll, Paola Lenti and Kettal. The lighting is from the firms Davide Groppi, Flos, Viabizzuno and Serge Mouille. In the kitchen and bathrooms, premium brands were also chosen: kitchen from the German firm bulthaup and bathrooms from the Italian firm Agape. The author of the photographic works is Jordi Bernadó.
Furniture : Finn Juhl, Cassina, De la Espada, Capellini, Poltrona Frau, Zanotta, Fritz Hansen, USM, Knoll, Paola Lenti and Kettal.
lighting: Davide Groppi, Flos, Viabizzuno and Serge Mouille