MH.AP makes the most of every square inch of Barcelona apartment with elegant built-in joinery
MH.AP Studio recently completed a refresh and reconfiguration of the 1970’s apartment in Barcelona.
“David’s Attic in Barcelona features an abundance of built-in furniture and storage elements made from matte-finish MDF, and carefully-positioned mirrors to make the home appear more spacious. As we entered to the original flat we felt disappointed with the 1970’s configuration of the 70-square-metre flat. ‘What a shame that the terrace is not connected to the living room!’ We noted. The apartment had a long corridor and an adjoining row of small, dark rooms that weren’t taking advantage of sunlight from the outdoor terrace. Our main goal was to broaden the home without losing any rooms. To optimise the space, conventional limits had to be diffused. Typical hallways are a waste of space. They should be more than just be a place to get from A to B: the flat’s new layout sees the hallway transformed into a multifunctional space that accommodates a kitchen suite and wardrobes on one side, and a 60-centimetre-deep desk, dressing table and bench seat on the other. At the end of the corridor, a large open-plan living and dining room is revealed. Spanning the entire width of the flat, the area looks out onto the terrace which is accessed through sliding glass doors. Here a low, L-shaped sofa with bright blue cushions wraps the corner of the room. It’s built into a wall of shelving which displays artworks and decorative objects. Two bedrooms and a bathroom are located in rooms along the corridor and accessed through doors that match the cabinetry. The bathroom, which is accessed via the corridor and the master bedroom, is clad in grass-green tiles that contrast the apartment’s otherwise brown surfaces. The sink is placed outside the bathroom in the hallway, a feature that was inspired by a sink in the hall of French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s project Villa Savoye. Althought the sink in Villa Savoye is a device that is placed in the entrance lobby for hygienic reasons, what we enjoy about this fact is not its functional reason -— but the displacement of a domestic element in an unexpected space. The selected color palette wants to create an enveloping, warm feel in the apartment, enhancing the different phenomenological sensations throughtout the path, from the entrance, where shadows are embraced, until the living, where natural light explodes. As architectes, we believe in working with raw materials for the natural way they age (patina) and also, these materials can easily meet the required budget. ‘Industrial’ oak parquet flooring was chosen for bare-walking. The countertops of the kitchen in the corridor and the hallway sink are crafted from a custom terrazzo by Huguet Mallorca. Several mirrors have also been inserted throughout the apartment to make living spaces appear larger and bounce natural light into the dark corridor. A reflective panel in the bathroom additionally helps conceal the shower. This project was carefully built by Triflex,” explained Marina Huguet Blasi and Andrés Peñuela Betancur, founders of the studio
- Location: Barcelona, Spain
- Date completed: 2019
- Size: 753 square feet
- Design: MH.AP Studio
- Photos: Luis Diaz Diaz