Lluis Corbella Architecture & Design / Gracia
Lluis Corbella Architecture & Design
“Before being acquired by the owners, the building held a “milk shop” in the heart of one of the most charming and dense neighborhood in Barcelona: Gracia. Originally in this shop, milk and other derivate such as yogurt and cream where sold… and there were cows in it as well. So the starting point was a building without any use, totally abandoned with its facades and roof in very bad condition and heavy renovation actions were required.
The proposal was done in collaboration with architect Marc Mazeres. The main idea was to “empty” the original inner space and preserve only the facades and original roof. Our main idea was to build a new dwelling but preserving the original interior volume and its spirit.
The result is a unique combination of spaces that communicate in different heights and allow visual and physical connections between them. In this project spaces are interconnected so new visuals are created between different platforms and levels. The idea was to perceive the building as a diverse spaces container. The idea becomes more evident in the main living room, connected to the interior corridors and also to the exterior through big windows.
A metal staircase and a small elevator connect the base plan with other levels. All the horizontal communication is done through glass and sliding doors to allow a major visual connection between spaces. During the constructive process we developed an “empty-refilling” system. This means that the building was “emptied” of all old internal structures and only facades, roof and a central wood pillar were left. This pillar was and still is the only central support point of all the structure.
All the horizontal structure was built with a solution of metal beams and metal and concrete composite slab. At the same time facades and roof were renovated. Interior partitions were built from brick core and exterior pasted prefabricated piece. On site works duration were cut down drastically with the use of these pieces. The results are outstanding in terms of durability, finishes and acoustic isolation (<35db)
Windows, openings and blinds are solved with aluminum systems with high efficiency standard. The climate system consists of crossed ventilation in summer and a floor heating system heated with solar panels in winter. The finishes of this building rely on simplicity and durability.”
Photography by Lluís Corbella, Eva Cotman.