Essential and stripped to a minimum, yet extremely harmonious in its balance between opposites. Specialised in optimising space, the Madrid-based Minimo architecture studio has upgraded a flat in the heart of the Spanish capital, housed in a 13-storey tower block: Minimo completely redesigned the rooms to instil fluidity and carefully structured the space along two horizontal axes and a vertical connecting one. The stars of this renovation are in fact the flooring, the ceiling and the kitchen ‒ the only ‘disruptive’ presence in a space otherwise lacking physical or visual interruption.
Even the vertical structural components tend to disappear through their straightforwardness and their almost untreated materials, in a context of pastel and pale tones. So it could be said that the home is simply ‘a roof, a floor and a kitchen block’.
It all started with the client’s request to restructure a home that was previously divided up into many poorly flexible areas, ending up with its conversion into the opposite: now there are stark structural components, such as pipes, flues, uncovered vertical elements and bare frames, with quality and carefully chosen finishes, such as the birch wood of the kitchen block or the mosaic floor ‒ all flowing together into the main areas.
The living room, the kitchen and the dining room join together to form the core of the home, emphasised by the mosaic hydraulic floor that on the one hand brings continuity while on the other sets the rhythm, with its decorative patterns and delicate colours.
The ceiling ‒ also bare and revealing its structure ‒ is the other component endowing the apartment with a feeling of continuity: in fact, the only interruption comes from the separation between the day zone ‒ more open and outgoing in character ‒ from the night zone ‒ more intimate and reserved. This latter and the bathrooms are accessed through deep narrow doors that reduce the maximum ceiling height to accentuate the feeling of moving from one part of the home to the other.
The vertical structural elements and fixtures (such as the radiators, to give just one example) have also been treated with simplicity or left in their natural state so as to guide the gaze to the component aiming to be the link between parallel planes: the beech-wood kitchen block. Minimo opted for minimalist interior architecture bringing to mind the São Paulo style with its rough finishes and thick volumes while it was also inspired by archetypes such as Casa Butantã ‒ the home Paulo Mendes da Rocha designed for himself and his family.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Floor area: 79 m2
Photography by Davit Ruiz, courtesy Minimo