"The apartment" is a remodeling project of a home acquired by a marriage of young people with a child, from a rural town near the city of Cienfuegos. Its location is the result of the analysis of the real estate context in the city, which excluded the possibility of obtaining a home on a single-family plot due to the limited budget available and identified as options to buy an apartment in one of the newly developed neighborhoods on the periphery or one in very bad condition in the center. The couple decided on the second option that, for a lower cost, allowed them to allocate the remaining budget to reform the existing one to adapt it to the needs of their architectural program.
Despite its privileged location in one of the main avenues of the historical center of the city, the low value of the lot was determined by its location at the end of a narrow circulation in a very deteriorated building of 12 apartments, whose main challenge was to solve the limited relationship of the preexisting with the outside.
The structural condition of the building, built at the beginning of the 20th century, allowed reconfiguring the interior partitions, where most of the bricks could be rescued for reuse in the remodeling itself.
To create the public area of the house was used an existing outdoor corridor with service functions that, adding several adjacent subdivided spaces through the demolition of walls, created an area where the public functions of the new project converge. In this space are the kitchen, living room and dining room, which can be transformed from the conception of a mobile concrete table that allows it to be easily relocated according to daily needs. The staircase, covered by a folding skylight that allows the entry of light and thermal exchange, connects this space with the terrace, which is used as a spreading and growing area for spices and ornamental plants.
The private area is resolved by inverting the original planimetric configuration, relocating the circulation and storage spaces to the west wall, with great thermal gain in the afternoons, and prioritizing the relationship with the exterior of the two bedrooms and the bathroom, space on which a mezzanine has used as a study and storage.
The axis on which the finishes of the house were articulated was the relationship with the pre-existing elements, mainly the perimeter walls of brick and the concrete slab, treated to expose their appearance. In the case of the walls, showing structural solutions of blind arches of the original building, and in the slab, with the traces of the original dividing walls that were exposed after its demolition. On the other hand, for the new elements were appealed traditional and low-cost techniques, such as concrete floors, stuccoed cement surfaces and recycled aluminum closures produced locally.