The approach taken by Mano de Santo in its renovation of Padre Jofre penthouse, an apartment in Valencia, can be summed up as follows: “The premise was not to make too many changes to the space. The idea was to do nothing …. Or almost nothing.”
The floorplan of the apartment had undergone changes over a long period, mainly the result of changes to the building itself. The largest of these was the installation of an elevator in the stairwell, which saw a central section of the home removed and, as a result, the creation of a strong polarity between its southern and northern sections.
Mano de Santo successfully transformed these limitations into opportunities, using the central block as a distribution hub for the home and subtracting from that space the bathroom and closet. The decision not to include walls between the rooms was prompted by the way the position of this nucleus already divides the home into distinct night and day areas without compartmentalizing them but still providing privacy.
Materials were also used to define the different sections of the apartment. The core brings a striking materiality to the home, with its extremely smooth wood and cement paneling underscoring the new geometries and creating a neutral backdrop for the furnishings and finishes. The vertical movement created by the panels masks the flush-to-the-wall doors to the stairwell and bathroom, making them as good as invisible.
A great deal of emphasis has been given to the ceiling, which has become one of the key features of the apartment. The absence of walls underscores its beauty against a backdrop that’s strongly vertical. The good state of conservation of the exposed wooden rafters and boards meant it was possible to further enhance the ceiling’s elegance with some simple cleaning and painting.
Finally, in the center of the living area and near the window in the bedroom, reclaimed ceramics set into the floor recreate the look of elaborate rugs.
Location: Valencia, Spain
Architect: Mano de Santo
Built-up Area: 64 m2
Photography by Diego Opazo, courtesy of Mano de Santo