The client’s requirement was to concentrate the main living spaces on the mezzanine floor and expand them on the ground floor with other spaces with more diffuse functions that could be used as living room, study, work area…
The starting point was two independent dwellings on top of each other on the ground floor and mezzanine of a modest, old apartment building between dividing walls in the heart of the Raval (Barcelona). Both dwellings were in an absolute state of neglect and disrepair.
Raúl Sánchez Architects‘ proposal is clear and direct: in the middle of the space, insert two 2-meter side squares rotated 45º over the dominant axis, their vertices overlapping without touching the original walls, and extruded through both floors. A simple and resounding arrangement in which two ideal shapes, two perfect extruded squares, are imposed on the existing irregularity and arrange all the floor space without the need for any other means or elements. One of the squares will hold the stairs communicating both floors and the other will house the bedroom on the upper floor and the toilet and office spaces on the ground floor.
The proposal’s emphasis runs parallel to the sought-after inner spatial complexity and a firm intention to underplay the different areas and circulation. Thus, the stairs are enclosed in one of the volumes, and their spiral pattern aims to disorient and conceal to surprise at the landings; for the same purpose, there are multiple axes of symmetry that double up circulation and enhance the spatial experience… The cut wooden beams either rest on the new steel porticos or lean on the lower wing of the new beams, always for the purpose of allowing the clean extrusion of the squares. Αll elements replicate the 45° turn with respect to the surface where they are inserted..