The assignment entailed the renovation of a residence nestled in the historic heart of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, commissioned by a young couple currently living abroad. Half of the couple was born in the town and they plan to return, establish roots, and build a family. The original building, consisting of a ground floor and one upper level and dating back to the late 19th century, stood in poor preservation.
Initially, the proposal aimed to maximise permissible building height within urban regulations, which allowed for the construction of an additional floor. However, the impact of the pandemic, the exceptionally soft terrain necessitating costly foundations, and inflation collectively compelled a revaluation of the project due to budget constraints, steering it towards a more straightforward and economically viable direction.
Following this approach, a strategic decision was made to preserve the essence of the existing structure, focusing efforts on the main volume of the building. The removal of the old garage paved the way for a charming patio with large south-facing windows shielded from street views. By retaining or subtly modifying the positions of the staircase, roof, and existing openings, we secured a simpler, cost-effective, and expedited permit for the project.
To optimise spatial efficiency, rooms were designed to occupy the maximum width, with fixed furniture and storage strategically placed along the sides of the plot. This arrangement transformed passage spaces into integral components of the program, eliminating conventional corridors in favour of usable spaces.
On the ground floor, the transition from the entrance to the living room seamlessly integrates a kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs, the staircase converges with a communal wardrobe-laundry room and bathroom, providing versatility in circulation. This approach ensures that connector functions serve multiple purposes and circulation paths, integrating these spaces into the overall floor plan and only closing off when required.
Budget constraints compelled thoughtful material choices, ultimately contributing to the distinctive character of the final result. For instance, the decision to leave existing wooden and ceramic ceilings exposed without painting imbues a sense of antiquity, preserving them as relics to be minimally modified. Similarly, the unpainted MDF panels of doors and cabinets have evolved into a defining feature, their natural state ultimately proving more appealing to the property owner than the initially contemplated painted finish.
In navigating the delicate balance between preserving heritage and adapting to contemporary needs, this renovation in Sant Feliu de Llobregat stands as a testament to the harmonious union between tradition and modernity.