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AB House in Barcelona’s Ensanche district

Diana Carbonell, Jaime Batlle y Victor Alavedra, arquitectos

Description Technical file

The strategy for this project consisted of finding the necessary balance between the existence and the new, recovering the original attributes and discarding those that disturb and blur the gaze.

This project re-sketches a central corridor filled with doors and hallways, a characteristic element in the flats of the Ensanche, with the goal of unifying to the extent possible the entire habitable space around a piece of furniture that structures and operates as a screen between the public and the private. Simultaneously, this new backbone accommodates the storage for the flat while organising and distributing the floor plan into three differentiated zones.

On one side is the public area, with the living room, dining room and library, all of them interconnected next to the building’s main façade and enjoying the best views and orientation. On a second plane are the service spaces, with kitchen, pantry, guest bedroom and cloakroom with a functional double access: either from the main entrance or from the polyvalent room. Lastly is the master bedroom, which develops over a spiral of privacy from the entrance. It begins with the dressing room, continues along a study located in the gallery giving on to the back façade and ends in the bathroom opening on to the natural light of the internal courtyard, with a closed cabin for the lavatory.

The proposal recovers and exalts both the original modernist mosaics and the high ceilings with plaster mouldings, framing each restored mosaic floor and surrounding it with natural oak parquet as if they were coloured rugs embedded in the floor. Emerging from this wooden perimeter base, which holds the heating, water and electricity installations, is the central piece of furniture like a great sculpture that breaks up and is set back in a quest for the precise alignments with the parquet and overhanging the mosaics without treading on them at any time. Each gesture seeks to activate the space adjacent to this central unit, giving it uses and activity to prevent the loss of space. It is no longer the unit as a volume which matters, but rather the empty space formed between the unit and the party walls of the flat’s perimeter.

In the same way that the central unit concentrates all the cupboards and the storage space required by the project, including a folding bed, linen, the oven column, the washer and dryer or the refrigerator, it is the fine layer of black iron that finishes off the central volume which is the true key to this project, making room for and supporting each one of the doors and screens required by the new layout. Sliding glass and wood doors, pivoting doors or screens for the showers, plus a great mirror in the dressing room area, the sheet metal that permits all the necessary fittings as well as the base for the glass panes up to the mouldings, thus avoiding any distortion between that which is original and that which is strictly new.

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Localización Location: Ensanche de Barcelona. Spain Arquitectos Architects: Diana Carbonell, Jaime Batlle y Víctor Alavedra (Built). Colaboradores Collaborators: Ignacio Arizu y Jennifer Álvarez (equipo), Juan Pablo Rodríguez. /AVAC Arquitectes Consultors (estructures). Constructora General Contractor: Built. Ejecución Completion: 2015. Superficie construida Built area: 172m². Fotografía Photography: Eugeni Pons.
Suppliers list
Parquet: Parquets Nadal www.parquetsnadal.com info@ parquetsnadal.com
Eugeni Pons
Lloret, Girona