At the last Barcelona Design Week, Elina Vilá and Agnès Blanch, who together form the vilablanch studio, presented their interior architecture project for an apartment in Barcelona’s Putxet district. The residence is located in a historical building designed by architecture practice MBM (Martorell, Bohigas, Mackay) in the rationalist style.
The goal that vilablanch set itself was to maintain the essence of the original design, typical of Barcelona’s ’70s architecture, but update it to meet modern needs, functionalities, layout, and comfort levels, with a contemporary aesthetic and a uniform material palette.
In terms of the layout of the 1240 square foot (115 m2) apartment, the brief had three key points: give more prominence to the kitchen, create a bedroom for each child, and increase the number of bathrooms for greater privacy.
The existing floor and rooms were out-of-step with modern needs. The contemporary compositional language of vilablanch, however, made it possible to give the home a whole new set of functions.
“A home’s layout affects the way it’s experienced,” says Elina Vilá, founding partner of vilablanch. “If your lifestyle changes, the interior organization needs to change with it.”
In redesigning the floorplan, the architects needed to give each child their own space to sleep and work. The old utility room off the kitchen was therefore transformed into a children’s bedroom, which means that the house now has three single and one double bedroom.
The kitchen was the centerpiece of the project and the fulcrum of the entire apartment. Nowadays, cooking is often an activity shared with family and friends. So, it’s no longer necessary to hide this part of the house. The project therefore opened the kitchen to the rest of the home and transformed it into epicenter of homelife.
The kitchen opens onto the living room and connects to the rest of the house via a sliding panel. This panel can be moved into three different positions: by sliding the panel in front of the television, the kitchen can be fully open; by moving it towards the entrance, the kitchen is half open with a 28 inch (70 cm) divide; while moving it to the center, completely closes off the space.
The designers expanded the living area by incorporating the space formerly occupied by a terrace. The room has been transformed into a comfortable and inviting space that’s connected to the kitchen via the sliding panel. This panel is multilayer birch, the same material used for the bookcases and bench, which were custom designed for the living room.
The two bookcases, which face each other from opposite sides of the room, are connected by the bench, which runs along the wall under the windows and can be used as a bench or a bookcase.
Photography by © José Hevia
courtesy of Vilablanch
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