Apartment in Born by CaSA – Colombo and Serboli Architecture
“This apartment is located in the oldest part of Barcelona, in an ancient building that dates back to the 13thcentury, in the neighborhoodknown as Born. The briefwas to completely transform the old property into a new vibrant flat, home of a young Italian woman, a fashion professional. The highly compartmented layoutoriginally included three bedrooms, two occupying the street side and a third one in the entrance space and wasplacing living and kitchen in the dark interior of the plot.The new arrangement overturns completely the original layout.
The scheme is thought tofully bring back and enhance the great proportions of the ancient spaces, with 4m high-vaulted ceilings, huge windows and thick walls. All of previous partitions have been demolished, leaving only one thick structural wall, around the new bedroom. The key pieceof the project and the only added partition is a thick, bespoke storage unitthat divides the entrance from the living area, converting the hall into a disguised walk-in-wardrobe.
This made-to-measure, built-in storage is thought to highlight the monumental proportions of the recovered spaces. The deep blue, boiserie-like, floor to ceiling cabinetry was designed to meet the client’s request to provide storage for clothing, accessories and sports equipment, as well as other home items. Its lacqueredpanels’ rhythm conceals a direct access to the bedroom from the main entrance through a double door, like a secret entry that keeps the room private and independent. A cutout,light pink,grand doorway of over 2.5m of height connects the living area to the entrance while hiding closet doors on both sides. In the entryway, light is provided bya minimalistic glass globe,built-in withinthe unit,and through another 120cm deep niche that peeks into the living room. This openingmatches the opposite living roomwindow thatwas previously boarded up, now re-opened above the dotted bespoke radiator cover.
The airy living and kitchen spacebenefits of the light of two huge balcony windows, whose original woodworkhas been restored, preserving the detailed wooden shutters motifs. False ceilings were removed to expose the Catalan vaultsand wooden beamed ceilings, all painted in white to increase brightness. The 40cm thick bearing wall that now divides living from bedroom and entrance has been covered with a tactile rough treatment, to enhance its thick presence. As part of this wall, right over the niche, a curl structure detail emerged during constructionsandhas been incorporated within the boiserie panels.
The open kitchenfeatures a rounded peninsula hosting sink and dishwasher,that doubles as an informal eating areaoverhungby three globe pendants with brass details and burgundy cords that chromatically match the hood tube. The kitchen cabinets are finishedina warm grey and fitted with vintage brass concave handles. Both sides of the kitchen lean against amainfeature:an arc-shaped, coral-colouredvolumethat hides a powder room.
Client’s requirement was to have a guest bathroom,independent from the master bedroom. TheArchitects opted to turn thecustomer’s requestinto a standalone highlight of the apartment:“A full-height volume would have reduced the feeling of space in the big living room, while using a half-height volume would have transformed its topin a dusty,dark corner.
So we opted foran arc shape, that while almost touching the wooden beamed ceilings, it enhances and preserves the full room height”, the designers explain. The arc motif appears again in the corner of the dashboard, sided by a wall mounted globe lamp, and in the curvededged kitchen island. Both surfaces are made in a pink terrazzo-like quartzsurface, as well as the kitchen countertop.”