Arguelles Apartment Refurbishment into bright wooden new home

Architects: Carrascal•Blas
Location: Argüelles, Madrid, Spain
Year: 2016
Area: 1.023 ft²/ 95 m²
Photo courtesy: Guiomar Martín Domínguez
Description:

“An awkward distribution, typical of speculative architecture in 1950s Madrid, constituted the point of departure in this renovation, as much as an opportunity to re-think domestic inner space.

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The commission aimed at the thorough transformation of a 95-square-meter apartment in the central district of Argüelles, which was very much conditioned by the dwelling’s unusual depth, i.e. a considerable distance between the entrance and the main, exterior rooms. The design responded by introducing unexpected relationships while valuing uncommon spaces, often deemed residual.

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Such a strategy results, in the first place, in a careful articulation between the entrance, the kitchen plus office, and the hallway. The latter’s spinal role within the flat made it worthy of a special treatment through geometry, so reflecting the layout’s irregularity, as well as by a play of quivering textures integrated in the continuous panelling of the surrounding walls and lattices, all in lacquered wood.

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In second place, the renovation seeks to preserve the flat’s identity by the modulation of light, the use of warm tones in wooden overlays and hydraulic tiling, or the restoration of the traditional, hard-wood floors, in a herringbone pattern with edgings.

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In the main rooms, the ampleness of the original height is emphasized by lowering the hallway and server spaces, as well as by particularizing the ceilings at different places: entrance (pyramid), office (pitched roof) and dining room (gilded, with a curved moulding). The combination of different textures and tones in wood, along with the variation among stances result in a spatial interplay of surprise and familiarity.

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Including demolitions, the work had to be ready in barely three months, so leading to the use of dry solutions for the partition walls and their facing. Speed was thus made compatible with the high quality of detailing and materials in the final result.”

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