located in the el born neighborhood of barcelona, design studio nada has refurbished the ‘picasso’ apartment for a young professional couple. situated within a residential building dating back to the 1970s, the existing residence overlooks the parc de la ciutadella, the greatest green area in the city center. the recently completed project sees the reimagining of the original 754 ft2 (70 m2) space to create a contemporary and light-filled home.
the central white cube
all images © nit victorio
the brief from the clients sought to transform the existing compartmentalized apartment into a more fluid and open plan. working around their tight budget, the design team at nada proposed an open kitchen and living space, a master bedroom and dressing area, and a second room connected to the living room. by applying a contemporary style with simple and coherent materials, the result is a thoughtful, connected space where different elements perfectly interact with each other.
the central white cube distributes the apartment
the plan of the picasso apartment centers around a white cube. built within the living space, the different functions of the house intend to radiate from this element. the structure contains a niche on the living room side, the dressing area, as well as bookshelves and storage space. inside the white cube, a second room, which is almost hidden, connects with the living room and provides a space for a variety of uses.
light flows through the space
given its prime location overlooking the parc de la ciutadella, the new design focuses on bringing natural light into the interior and forming a dialogue between the indoor and outdoor environment. the result is a space that is directed towards the windows, removing any obstacle that would obstruct both the flow of light and views. to achieve this, former space divisions have been removed by nada, except for the large load-bearing wall that has been used to conceal the necessary services.
translucent glass doors are reminiscent of japanese shojis
in order to provide privacy while also allowing light to flow through the spaces, translucent glass doors have been specified throughout the apartment. evoking japanese shoji partitions, these frosted elements create a delicate balance between transparency and privacy and have been applied at the entrances to the bedroom, bathroom and laundry room.
the living space
with the aim to enhance the flow of light and minimize any obstacle, simple materials and a muted color palette characterize the picasso apartment. white is predominant in all the vertical elements, in contrast to the continuous green paving that permeates all the spaces of the house. green is selected as a reminder of the tree branches behind the delicate curtains that diffuse the outdoor light. sandy tone ceramics both in kitchen and bathroom emerge as a common theme in the rest of the apartment, alluding to the mediterranean character of barcelona.
the continuous green floor invades every room
to complement the design, nada has carefully selected furniture pieces so as not to compromise the spatial experience. the living room features a white marble tulip table with paring chairs designed by eero saarinen in the 50s. the simplicity of the headhat bowl designed by santa & cole tops this iconic table. hanging from the white central block, the eye clock by george nelson, also designed in the 50s, oversees the scene occurring in the living room. the executive arm chair, also designed by saarinen, brings a touch of color next to the sofa and the parentesi suspension lamp, an icon from the 70s from achille castiglioni, enlightens the bricks from the original pillar.
doors are used to hide the bookshelf as well as the bedroom door
light flows through the doors
ceramic tiles are applied in the bedroom
proposed floor plan
project name: picasso apartment
location: passeig picasso, barcelona, spain
design: nada (borja hernández and arcadi martín)
collaborator: edu covelo
area: 754 ft2 (70 m2)
photography: nit victorio
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom