In Barcelona's Eixample district, young firm Built Architecture updated a historic 19th-century flat with an eye towards preserving its colorful mosaic tile floors, which date back to the early 1900s. In the dining room, a sculpture by Laurent Martin Lo hangs suspended above the table.
Typical of historic homes in Eixample, the apartment's rooms are laid out along two central corridors that meet to form a 'V' shape. The firm's update to the space centers around the addition of an oak cabinet wall, which adds generous storage to the narrow floor plan.
The firm also framed all of the original mosaic tiles with oak parquetry, a discrete detail that blends seamlessly with the material palette of the new cabinetry throughout, while also accentuating each mosaic composition to appear almost as a graphic rug. The pendants above the kitchen workspace are Duo pendants by Anglepoise.
High ceilings with restored gypsum mouldings are another nod to the structure's historic past. "The project is best understood as an art gallery whose main objective is to offer the best possible frame to exhibit art whilst at the same time providing an optimal experience for its users," says Victor Alavedra, a partner of the firm. Glass doors connect the kitchen to the guest room beyond.
In the guest bedroom, cabinetry was installed at just below the ceiling height to bring natural light into the space. The central cabinetry unit unites various areas of the home, and serves multiple functions, depending on the room.
In the guest room, for example, the built-in unit contains a pull-down Murphy Bed, which makes the most of the elongated space.
The cabinetry also accommodates a compact library, which can be accessed from the guest room. "The perimeter of the apartment is completely free by concentrating the intervention in one single and continuous volume that works as a spine," the firm explains.
The cabinetry extends all the way to the large master bedroom at the end of the hall; the bathroom is also accessible from the guest room.
A floor plan shows the unique dimensions of Casa AB, centralized around two main corridors, which the firm says is typical of Eixample homes. The service areas of the home (kitchen, dining bar, guest room, bathroom) are aligned along one end, where the cabinetry was installed; situated along the other are the communal areas, including the sitting room, dining room, and library.