Barcelona, Spain

The house is located in Vallcarca, a working-class neighborhood of the 1970s affected by the abandonment of buildings and the lack of urban planning

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Photos: © Max Hart Nibbrig
Photos: © Max Hart Nibbrig

The monolithic gray block of rough industrial appearance is softened thanks to the proportion between solid and void, the latter materialized through three openings that establish an interior-exterior relationship. On the main elevation, the concrete plinth acts as a pillar carrying a steel lintel, replicating the aesthetics of the building at risk of demolition across the street. The house shares a narrow plot with a multi-family building to which it is connected through a courtyard filled with plants.

The program separates the public areas – on the first floor – from the three bedrooms and the living room, located on the second and third floors. A double-height concrete block wall, where the garage is located, distances the first two levels from the density of the city. The aim has not been to capture as much light as possible, but to accentuate, in homage to Junichiro Tanizaki's essay, the value of shadow; walnut floors, plywood or in-situ concrete amplify this sensory experience.

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