We intervene in an apartment that occupies a space not designed as a home in the original project by Ricardo de Bastida on the year 1920. Previous reforms of the protected building converted the attic floor into characterless houses with a conventional program.
This intervention studies the conditions of the domestic issue within the strong conditions of the container (compression of the space under the sloped roof, absence of visual contact with the street, useful surface at two levels).
The project strategy consists on raising the floor level by 40 cm in most of the apartment aligning it with the floor in the existing main dome-like room.
The raised floor allows a free distribution of the facilities, allowing displacements respect to their original location and the addition of new elements. It also allocates storage systems. Rather than compromising space with cupboards or wardrobes, the storage underneath the apartment’s timber floor liberates the surface for a free use. The family who inhabit the apartment and specially the children have found an environment at their scale where they can have autonomy and move freely according to their own activities no matter of the small size of the space.
On the elevated floor, bathtubs are formed. Each bathtub corresponds to a space of use, including bathtubs in the literal sense, or space of beds with sliding mattresses when required, seat area around the kitchen…
The raised floor allows the view of the street and the surroundings through the roof skylights.
As 'emergent' elements only two triangular volumes on the corner fixed walls are included. These 'high' wardrobes of the rooms are mobile, in a solution halfway between the flexibility of use of the space and the playful component of the house.
Colour is been used as an essential tool in the architectural design process in this project. Both as a subjective creator of emotional reactions thinking about the inhabitants of the apartment and also as an objective aid in the spatial perception.
Living in a 72 sqm apartment with sloped ceiling raising from floor level (with only 55 sqm above 1,50m high) with very scarce visual contact with outdoor space can be challenging for a family unit of four members.
The aim is to define a spatial solution with the entire functionality demanded to a conventional apartment in terms of facilities, spatial flexibility and comfort. And we believe in colour as an important contributor to the perception of a designed atmosphere for the positive experience of comfort.
With this basis, the colour palette works in a double sense. Introducing the optimism and brightness in the every day home life. And contributing to certain calm mood to blur the limits of the compressed space. In general terms, sunshine-yellow contrasts with general pale blue.
Bright yellow (NCS S1060-Y) is employed in flooring surfaces.
In the space of the existing dome dedicated to the open-plan dining and living space and also in the un-raised surfaces that accurately define each useful unit.
Surrounding this well defined yellow areas, yellow cream (NCS S0507-Y) dome ceiling collects and scatters the zenith light with the purpose of enlarging the perception of the only wide high room of the apartment.
The birch timber floor also broadens around in the rest of the apartment complementing the condition of the limited yellow floors.
Pale blue (NCS S510-R90B) tints the sloped ceilings of the home.
Deep blue (NCS S4040-R90B) is used in the interiors underneath timber floor and inside the wardrobes emphasizing deepness of the cavities.
It tints light, contributes to clear images evocating sunlight specially in the dome living room and is aesthetically pleasing. This yellow atmosphere is accompanied by warm artificial light. The down level floors with its brilliant colour are easily perceived reducing the risk of falling from the upraised timber floor.
It compliments the radiance of yellow surfaces offering a low brightness contrast in all sloped ceilings. Softly illuminated by the natural light entering through skylights, the down coming limits blur alleviating the low heights towards the façade limits. It facilitates the illusion of expansion of the roof by causing the invasive inclined roof become faint with fuzzy limits.
It solves the blue monotony by contrast of few single elements. It is used on inside surfaces of cupboards and wardrobes under the birch timber floor.
Along with the form design of the space the use of colour brings a cheerful, radiant vital inspiration overrun by light even though there is very little visual contact with the outdoor surroundings. And at the same time it suggests the evolving secure and calm sensation of the homely definition. An equilibrium between the exciting optimistic ambience and a restful aura for this revamped home.