Architects: Victor Gonzalez Marti
Location: Rambla Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Architect In Charge: Victor Gonzalez Marti
Photographs: Courtesy of Victor Gonzalez Marti
The 2012 IIDA Awarded Communicating Vessels, is a 250 sq.m complete apartment renovation, located in the Modernist neighborhood of Barcelona, near the Gaudi’s and Puig i Cadafalch’s city monuments. Through a well-studied design and an accurate execution, the young architect, creates a meaningful open space built around the natural light. At the same time exposes and protects the historic structural fabric, furnishes the space with custom-made designs and introduces a system of energy efficient lighting, the Lighting Carpets, which indicate & illuminate the various uses of this home.
MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
The design layout is a response to the client’s wish for a united, open space that could benefit by the natural light, from early in the morning to the late afternoon. For this reason, all mid-walls were demolished and the windows looking at the inner patio, were enlarged. The only enclosed department built from the scratch, is the Core, which includes the guest room and the service areas, leaving the rest of the space diaphanous.
A row of uninterrupted uses, the ‘communicating vessels’, create an open plan space, which runs undisturbed through the main sleeping area, the dressing room, the washing area, the kitchen, the library and living area. No door can be seen through this open space, apart from a double one that indicates the threshold between the private and the public, while helps the energy saving during the night.
Every use is ‘marked’ by a Lighting Carpet, a customized and highly resolved lighting system. As the floor carpets do, the Lighting Carpets, ‘warm up’ a specific territory of this home while the same time, indicate the use, by their distinct positioning and size. By inventing and installing this custom made ceiling frames, the typical light mishmash has being avoided and a better control of the quality & quantity of light, has being achieved. Every frame incorporates 3 different illuminations; the upper Led line underlining the vault ceiling fabric, the lower LED line which spreads the light equally in the space and the hanged adjustable LED spots, focusing on fragmented specific activities, adaptable to the user’s needs, such as reading or drawing.
The different uses are also indicated by fix furniture pieces, mostly custom made and the particular atmospheres achieved by different materials and designs. The luminous ‘rotonda’ library is in a constant dialogue with the next-door eclectic 1923 Coliseum theatre, whose rounded reflections enter from the bow windows. The deepness & the darkness are expressed in the case of the washroom, an atmospheric warm cave. In the bedroom, the gallery & windows area have being transformed into a green relaxation zone where an elevated deck incorporates a Jacuzzi bath tab.
The building offers a rich historic background because it has being reconstructed various times in the history after its partial collapse, when bombarded during the Spanish civil war, in 1938. Looking to reconstruct the history, the decision to remove all the overlaid plaster layers from the walls and the ceilings was taken, in search for the original beautiful brick walls. All electric installations have being placed in front of the walls, leaving the original surfaces untouched.
The coolness and heating are achieved by the sectional air-conditioning installations, for maximum comfort and energy saving. The custom made lighting, offers a better control of the quality & quantity of light, by using intergraded LED lines, which counts up to 85% of energy saving. All wood is certified and the furniture and lighting are made by the local Manolito & Manolita furniture brand.
ABOUT TC INTERIORS:
TC-Interiors is a company, which will be celebrating 40 years of experience in the sector of interior construction, in 2013. Founded at 1973 by Roberto González, currently is led by Victor Gonzalez, a 28 year old awarded architect & Carmen Marti, interior designer and is supported by technical team and a fully equipped construction team. TC-Interiors is specialized on housing and commercial renovations and also incorporates a showroom & shop, which is open to the public and offers a generous display of kitchens, bathrooms furniture and a multitude of materials & accessories.
For Victor Gonzalez & TC-Interiors, the project’s well thought design is the key to a guaranteed success. The dialogue with the client and the analysis of his concerns, needs and ideas, is an integral part of the design proposal. Every project becomes a multi-dimensional process and is approached individually, depending its nature, typology and complexity, always having on mind the energy saving, the long lasting sustainable materials and the local brands.