In the medieval city of Girona, Catalonia, a Spanish architect saves a 16th-century townhouse by converting it into a five-bedroom rental.

A spacious wood-decked veranda that's part of the duplex apartment.

When Barcelona–based architect Anna Noguera stumbled upon the historic building, she was instantly intrigued by its rich heritage and ancient beauty. Determined to rescue it from further decay, Noguera, who is originally from the city of Girona, carefully restored the structure by transforming it into a vibrant vacation home.

The living room is connected to a south-facing veranda.

The living room is connected to a south-facing veranda.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

Because the building had been altered numerous times throughout the last 500 years, its layout was irregular and inefficient. Therefore, Noguera reconfigured the interior significantly so that the property—which is now comprised of two units—could accommodate five bedrooms.

The small medieval city and university town of Girono sits along the River Onyar.

The small medieval city of Girono sits along the River Onyar.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

By creating a dialogue between ancient and contemporary, Noguera complimented the existing old stone, oak, and terracotta interior with sleek, modern materials, including dark steel and concrete. 

The property has a discreet, wooden door garage.

The property has a discreet street-level garage.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

The entranceway with a stairs that leads to the apartment.

A peek at the entranceway with stairs that lead to the apartment.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

The smaller of the two apartments is located on the ground floor has an open plan living and dining area with new oak flooring, glass windows, massive Corten steel doors, and a slender, slate-gray kitchen that’s hidden behind a screen. Across the hallway from this communal zone are two bedrooms and a bathroom

The staircase that leads from the ground-level apartment to the duplex.

A staircase leads from the ground-level apartment up to the duplex.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

This ground-level apartment connects to a wisteria-shaded garden and courtyard with a black concrete pool crafted from an old cistern that was found on the site. 

A warm and simple bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.

A warm and simple bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.



Courtesy of Boutique Homes

The second apartment—which has a spacious light-filled living room with a double-sided fireplace—is located on the top two levels of the building. 

A wisteria-shared courtyards and garden with a dining area.

A wisteria-shaded courtyard and garden with a dining area.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

Contemporary materials like concrete and steel are a wonderful contrast to the ancient stone walls.

Contemporary materials—such as concrete and steel—are a wonderful contrast to the ancient stone walls.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

The living room of this unit opens onto a south-facing veranda with a fully equipped kitchen. It also has a dining terrace that looks down toward the ground-level garden and plunge pool.  

A dialogue between ancient and contemporary can be seen in the bedroom.

A dialogue between ancient and contemporary can be seen in the bedroom.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

A clean-lined bathroom of stone and concrete.

A clean-lined bathroom of stone and concrete.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

The original 16th century stone walls are left exposed in the kitchen.

The original 16th-century stone walls are left exposed in the kitchen.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

A narrow threshold evokes the warren-like feel of the original interiors.

A narrow doorway evokes the warren-like feel of the original layout.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

An old cistern found on the original site is now a black concrete plunge pool.

An old cistern found on the original site is now a black concrete pool.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

The children's bedroom with a pullout storage area.

The children’s bedroom with pullout storage.

Courtesy of Boutique Homes

Guests interested in staying in this transformed townhouse can rent the entire home or each of the units individually through Boutique Homes.

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