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Liebman Villavecchia Arquitectos

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Dance and music studio in Barcelona. Liebman Villavecchia Arquitectos.

The architects’ desire for clarity and simplicity was the guiding factor in the refurbishment of these premises situated in an early 20th-century building in the district of Sant Gervasi of Barcelona, whose varied and successive uses had concealed its original state.

These small premises in the district of Sant Gervasi, at the foot of the Putxet hill, was the space chosen by the clients for refurbishment as a dance and music studio. The premises, situated in an early 20th-century building, is a cube wedged between other buildings, with two free planes: the Ballester Street façade and the roof that is in turn the communal terrace for the building’s dwellings.

Over the years this space has successively been occupied by artisan workshops, small industries and shops, suffering highly aggressive interventions, which totally concealed its original state. After eliminating everything superfluous, an open-plan double-height box was revealed, with light entering from two sides, the roof and the façade, with a single element presiding over the space: a double-shaft wooden pillar that underpins the main roof beams.

The incorporation of a new-build mezzanine meets the needs of the programme, which required a larger surface: rooms with flexible size and use and varying qualities for either dance or music, together with ancillary spaces. The mezzanine was placed in such a way that the premises would read as a whole and so that natural light would flow from one side of it to the other.

The mezzanine is understood as an individual, self-supporting element in itself. Its structure, freestanding from the rest of the building, originates in the double-shaft wooden pillar and from that point expands in an isotropic manner to create a structural grid with three equal centrelines. Access to the upper floor takes place via a wooden element that has the double function of storage unit and staircase.

The premises form a space closed in on itself, with façade openings and a roof light that barely provide views of the outside. However, its good orientation enables the cycle of natural light to blend with the artificial light throughout the day.

The few materials used have been chosen with a great deal of care. At the entrance level we find a continuous micro-cement paving in the transit areas and pine wood boards in the large hall. Starting at the staircase and covering the entire mezzanine floor, the linoleum paving in a saturated colour leads us through the rooms on this level. Both in the large ground floor hall and in the two smaller rooms on the upper level, the ceiling has been finished in “heraklith” in order to provide greater acoustic and ambient comfort.

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Situación: Barcelona. Autores: Fernando Villavecchia, Eileen Liebman y Mireia Comajuncosa, arquitectos (Liebman Villavecchia Arquitectos). Colaboradores: Javier Chaves (Tècnics-G3, arquitectos técnicos). Gerardo Rodríguez (Static Ingeniería, ingenieros). Contratistas: Jordi Grau (Edelbau Europa). Fotografía: Lourdes Jansana.
Liebman Villavecchia Arquitectos

Lourdes Jansana