Looking back, the standard layout of apartments built in Spain in the 1970s and ’80s appear quite unusual. These units, with rooms lined up in rows running along a corridor with no flow between them, became the norm in the country. Though there’s no telling why this style caught on, fortunately, tastes have since changed. Nowadays when owners renovate flats from that era, the first thing they ask architects to tackle is the creation of an alternative structure that feels more suited for day-to-day life.
This was indeed the case for architect Sergi Pons when he was brought on to renovate an apartment from the ’70s in Sant Gervasi, an affluent Barcelona neighborhood. In place of the compartmentalized layout typical of the period when it was built, the new owners (a young couple with two small children) wanted a more contemporary plan with spaces flowing into each other.
Sergi decided to divide the house into two distinct areas: “day” and “night.” The day area is centered around a large oak section that contains a guest toilet, pantry, and kitchen storage. The oak installation also separates the kitchen from the living and dining area, and articulates the apartment’s different spaces. The night area is centered around a short corridor that leads to the bedrooms and the shared bathroom.
The apartment is an intriguing exercise in bringing order to the space without using walls that would block light. To further differentiate the two areas of the house, Sergi used a gray micro-cement on the floors in the day area, while the bedroom floors are a natural bleached oak parquet. The two different textures complement each other while simultaneously creating a clear visual differentiation.
Iron frames with glass panels were used to separate other areas of the apartment: with one in place between the kitchen from the dining room and living room. Linen curtains were added along the glass panels to provide additional privacy when desired.