Project AuthorsJordi Calbetó i Oriol Vañó, Elena Albareda
CollaboratorsPep Vinuesa, Valentí Albareda
Text description provided by the architects. The project starts from the premise of dividing a big duplex, situated in front of the more distinguish park in the city, into two dwellings better adapted to a family’s present needs. At first sight, a visitor can get a sense of a stately home, possessing all elements and ambience characteristic of a superior dwelling, which give it such a special character. The challenge of this proposal is to achieve the recuperation of this generous space avoiding the loss of its previous character. The aim of the proposal is therefore to guarantee the conservation of all the elements that brought richness to the initial space and to obtain that the new architecture establishes a good dialogue between the new forms of living and the inherited legacy.
One of the main virtues of the initial house consists of the disposition of two terraces of generous dimensions related to its two levels. These outside spaces oriented to the south, have the benefit of magnificent views over Turo Park in the foreground and the sea as a backdrop. The decision not to divide these terraces into two was crucial when laying out the new dwellings. The proposal does not attempt to create two equal parts, two symmetrical dwellings; instead, it looks for a richer and more complex solution. It proposes a first house mainly set on one floor with a studio on the top floor taking advantage of the terrace on the previous attic floor. The second house is organised in two floors, with the south orientated terrace on the top floor, associated with the living-room, dining-room and kitchen. CAVAA developed the architecture of the 2 houses and defined the interior design and furniture of the duplex dwelling down to the last detail.
The location of the day area on the upper floor allows the living areas to be closely connected to the outside space; another north-orientated exterior space forms a garden. With this solution, the sequence of main spaces: kitchen, dining-room, living-room, became diaphanously related to the outside, creating new crossed visions with the city of Barcelona and the Collserola mountain. In this way, the outside landscape participates of the main rooms enriching and enlarging them. In the night area, located on the entrance area, are placed four bedrooms – a suite, two double and a single – with their corresponding bathrooms. The bedrooms with a clear north orientation, overlook the inside patio of the block; in this way, these rooms enjoy the privacy and calm that this part of the program requires. The access space is defined as a nexus between these two areas. Within this scope, the stair of the original dwelling spreads out with a magnificent and generous presence to establish a connection between the public and private areas of the building.
The project has a clear purpose of adopting natural light as a vertebrating element which articulates the program relating the two floors and their inside with their outside. That is why in spaces of more difficult lighting, skylights are created which not only favour the entrance of light but also an exchange of sensations. In this way, outside light enters the more obscure points of the dwelling and the view from them open to the outside.
The proposal is conscious of the magnificent legacy that the original building contains, preserving an ensemble of materials and furniture of great value and beauty. Elements like the magnificent cast-iron stair which presides over the entrance, the herringbone oak parquet or the carved wooden doors, are recuperated in order to match contemporary designs, offsetting by contrast the original elements that will continue captivating the home users, as they captivated us.
The building is located in a little green oasis inside the densely built web of Barcelona. In this context, next to the Turo Park, on the original house terraces, the vegetation has always had a special relevance. A clear example of this importance is the presence of an olive tree and a huge number of shrubs in the different patios and terraces of the original house. The new exterior spaces have been proposed as a dialogue between the original elements and the new plantations which, with autochthonous species, are complementary to the earlier ones. The result is some pleasant and fresh exterior gardens, with a vegetation that acts as a regulating agent of the inside temperature of the house.