Interior architecture of a loft in Ciutat Vella / Barcelona

vilablanch studio transforms an old textile warehouse into a loft with an industrial look, intentionally leaving in sight the elements that show the different stages that the building lived.

Photos: Eugeni Pons
Location and origin

This magnific loft is situated at a principal floor of an old building in the center of Barcelona, just on the limit where the old  wall of the city was located. At its origins, the building was used to serve the industrial textile, but on 1890 approximately the building suffered a transformation and turned into an apartment building with a modernist style. During this period the floors Nolla were included and, also, the polychrome coffered ceilings. The typical distribution appeared in the apartments,this meant, towards the street and the near courtyard.

When customers made their order to the vilablanch studio, the space had been operating as a warehouse for many years. All the interior partitions had been removed, the cast iron pillars were covered with concrete to fire them, the joists and vaults of the ceilings had been fireproof and covered with false ceilings, and the modernist pavements had been removed or covered with several overlapping layers of soil .
Interior architecture project
The modernist stage of the building was impossible to recover in a coherent reading, as the modernist ceilings, doors and floors had been destroyed or very damaged. For this reason, the vilablanch studio decided to visualize the different stages that the building lived, defining three periods and highlighting their corresponding elements.
1) Industrial stage
The structural elements were recovered and exposed to demonstrate the industrial style of the apartment: the iron pillars that were hidden inside the concrete columns, the structural beams, also hidden behind the walls or the false ceilings, shuffled ceilings and joists. The loft layout is also inspired by the building's industrial origins. The original container was barely touched: the original perimeter walls were left plastered or after the new installations completed.

2) Modernist Stage
The industrial structure coexisted with the modernist elements that could be recovered: the old floors were discovered in some areas, filling the gaps between them with plaster, and the wooden joinery of the home of the the main access door, two windows and two French windows.

3) New intervention
The new dividing partitions that make up the three rooms and their respective bathrooms were made with dry partitions and integrated doors without a frame and with white handles, in order that the elements necessary for the new use were discrete and rigorous in conception. An iron staircase giving access to a loft was installed in the lounge area. The weather facilities were left exposed and the lighting was resolved with seen lanes running parallel to the joists. Staircase, loft, glass and installations seen, next to the fragments of continuous concrete in the ground, are a gesture of complicity in the initial industrial stage of this space.

The key to the interior design project is to make sure that the home has a clear reading of its overlapping stages. No decoration, no artifice, everything is real.

Furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathrooms

For the furniture project the best pieces from the most important contemporany firms were chosen, such as,  Finn Juhl, Cassina, De la Espada, Capellini, Poltrona Frau, Zanotta, Fritz Hansen, USM, Knoll, Paola Lenti y Kettal. Lighting is from the firms Davide Groppi, Flos, Viabizzuno y Serge Mouille, and the photograph pictures are a work of Jordi Bernadó. At the kitchen and at the bathrooms premium firms were also chosen: the kitchen done by the german firm bulthaup and bathrooms by the italian firm Agape.