Colombo and Serboli shows how to use color blocking in Barcelona apartment
A young family based in California approached Colombo and Serboli Architecture (CaSa) after a distressing event when their new Barcelona apartment burned after a big explosion. Marta, the owner and interior designer, asked CaSa to help her with design and complete a budget-friendly project after this unfortunate accident.
“The initial brief was to provide a budget-friendly project, due to the loss of the investment in the first burned-down rehabilitation. A clever use of materials was mandatory, as well as making the most of the existing distribution and installations. In spite of that, the apartment had to look dramatically different by the end of the works. Both clients and our team wanted the historical featuresto be preserved or rescued and highlighted, making the most of high ceilings, decorative features, floors, windows, doors. The challenge was to take the given spaces and make new sense of them, change the meaning and uses without moving walls. The original layout already included an open kitchen, living, two bedrooms (for parents and kids) and a small bathroom. Project-wise, most of the thought had to go into making sense of the main area, in order to order the rest of the project. This central area had kitchen installations on the back wall, and a recessed, dark area in the opposite that in the previous project hosted a small dining area. An unavoidable structural beam was added across one side of the kitchen. We decided to treat the central area as a color-block . This brick-like core orders the space around itself, embodying several functions (kitchen, dining, studio). Funnily enough, the family name recalls clinker brick blocks, clay bricks that are exposed to excessive heat during the firing process,resulting in a shiny surface. To create this distinct area, we decided to dip the whole space in a rich terracotta colour, including the recessed area that will be use as a quiet studio corner. The whole ceiling area above the kitchenwas dropped, disguising the beam and the air conditioning ducts. Micro-cement floor of the same hue cover three different types of tiles (the least interesting ones), unifying the block and highlighting the adjoining floors, of greater value, of entrance and living room. The same earthy tone is used for the micro cement backsplash wall, the ceiling, the kitchen cabinets including the long, round-edged central island, as well as for the studio area, desk and shelves. The result is a colour-block area that makes a distinctive statement at the core of the apartment. A holiday apartment allows for more daring colour choices. We picked a soft palettefor the property. Outside of the brick-coloured core, walls are white to maximize light. Even so, a valance runs around walls, doors and windows, giving an artificial horizon, visually widening spaces, in an otherwise vertically proportioned property. This fringe has been chosen based on the spaces and in relation to the colourful, original hidráulicofloors: a more neutral sand brings warmth through entrance and living (unifying the spaces on both sides around the the kitchen block), making the burgundy and greys shades of the living floor stand out; a cooler light green colour was chosen for the bedrooms,” explain Andrea Serboli and Matteo Colombo