Maybe the most striking element of
Set in a tired apartment block in the heart of El Raval, an artistic quarter close to the popular tourist-jammed market on La Rambla, both ground and first-floor dwellings were in a state of total neglect and disrepair. Sánchez was asked to refurbish the two 55 square metre apartments—and marry them together by adding an internal staircase and new master bedroom.
After cutting into the first floor at an angle to create a new upper mezzanine level, two double-height golden cubes were inserted into the vaulted space, their vertices overlapping, both completely freestanding from the walled edges of the apartment. The wooden interiors of the cubes are varnished in dense black, a stark contrast to the brighter exterior shades. One cube houses the stairs to travel between floors, the other is a bed on the top floor, and bathroom and workspace on the ground level.
Materials are colour-matched to designate space even further: glass door frames and openings are either set in
It’s brilliantly simple and perfectly striking—the neat floorplan is sliced yet clearly and cleverly defined without the need for other doors or enclosures, a clever furniture layout, or carefully placed carpets. Sánchez’s precise rotation of the cubes, the playful approach to volume, and the use of colour coding as guiding architecture answers all assumptions, but keeps the experience spirited and surprising too.
[Images courtesy of Raúl Sánchez. Photography by