Two ideal geometric shapes impose on the irregular surrounding environment, defining the domestic space: this is the project by Raúl Sánchez Architects, in the Barrio del Raval (Barcelona).
The story of this renovation starts with a singular coincidence: when the client, a Belgian designer of Brazilian origins, bought these two small independent dwellings on top of each other, in the heart of the Barrio del Raval in Barcelona, she found some Brazilian paintings on the walls of the ground floor and on one of them there was written ‘Ilhéus’, the city located in the State of Bahia where her sister owns a coffee plantation. For this reason, architect Raúl Sánchez had to preserve the paintings – restored by the householder at the end of the works – considering their position and enhancing them.
The architectural intervention consisted in joining the two independent units – both in an absolute state of neglect and disrepair – through a very clever designing solution. Sánchez created, in the middle of the space, two cubes going through both floors, rotated 45º over the dominant axis. The two 2-meter side squares extruded through both floors, coated in glossy, gold finish paint mixed with gold powder, are located exactly in the middle of the space, dominating and defining it. A cube corresponds to the staircase that connects the two floors, while the other houses the bedroom on the upper floor, and the toilet and office spaces on the ground floor. A simple and resounding arrangement that defines the environment surrounding the volumes without using any other defining element. The treatment of colors and materials highlights the designing intention through the use of white for perimeter walls contrasting with the yellow exterior of the two volumes and their black interior. On the ground floor, the Brazilian paintings are still on the walls, perfectly enhanced at the stairs exit.
This space is as unconventional as the lifestyle from which the project started. For this reason, also the furniture could be just a suggestion. The architect placed the few furnishings – all by DomésticoShop, which offered its catalogue for the occasion – following the axes of symmetry of the perimeter walls. On the ground floor, the tripolina chairs BKF, the table by Sancal, the beautiful carpet by Nani Marquina designed by the Bouroullec brothers, a small sofa and, in front of it, the lamp by Santa & Cole furnish the environment. Nearby, the round pouf and the underlying red round carpet define the office area and distinguish it from the living room. Upstairs, there are the kitchen and the living room, with two chairs and a round table – all by Hay.
Photo: José Hevia
From the number 235 of DDN. Go to the section magazine for a preview.