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    Rockwell Group blends Japanese and Spanish design in Nobu Hotel Barcelona

    New York studio Rockwell Group has mixed references to traditional Japanese crafts and the work of Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi in its interior design for this hotel in Barcelona by American hospitality brand Nobu.

    Located in the former Gran Hotel Torre de Catalunya near Barcelona’s main train station, the 250-room hotel is topped with a Nobu sushi restaurant on the 23rd floor as well as incorporating a pool, spa, meeting rooms and event spaces.
    The Spanish outpost marks the thirteenth hotel opening from Nobu, which started as an upscale Japanese fusion eatery in New York in 1994 but quickly expanded into a celebrated chain of restaurants and hotels spanning five continents.
    Above: guests enter Nobu Hotel Barcelona through a lobby with a lounge area. Top: among the hotel’s 250 rooms are a number of suitesArchitecture and design firm Rockwell Group has worked with the hospitality chain for almost 30 years, designing its first location in Manhattan followed by another 25 restaurants and eight hotels.
    In Barcelona, Nobu sought to create a location that blends the best design features of its restaurants with nods to the city’s architectural heritage.

    In response, Rockwell Group created a “collage of materials, textures and spaces” within the hotel, paying homage to the colourful mosaics in Gaudi’s Park Güell as well as the traditional Japanese craft of kintsugi, which involves mending broken pottery using metallic lacquers.
    A woven screen snakes its way from the facade into the double-height lobby”The fusion of these two arts felt natural and makes the property feel truly unique and grounded in its place,” Rockwell Group principal Eva Longoria told Dezeen.
    “We envision the environment as an abstract landscape, in which every element and detail is crafted in an unusual and unexpected way, much like Nobu’s cuisine,” added the firm’s partner Greg Keffer.
    From the street, the hotel’s entrance is framed by tall bamboo trees set behind a wall of rammed earth.
    A grand spiral staircase connects all of the hotel’s public areasA bright orange woven screen designed to evoke Japanese Shinto gates wraps the entry vestibule and continues inside to create a connection between the hotel’s interior and exterior.
    The screen leads guests into a double-height lobby lined with textured limestone and wood. The space is anchored by a dramatic brushstroke artwork – a recurring feature in Nobu’s interiors – that hangs behind the check-in desk.
    Off to the side, a grand spiral staircase connects all of the hotel’s public areas including the ballroom, lobby and meeting rooms.
    Millwork features heavily in the guest rooms. Photo is by Cristina GarciaIn the lobby bar, a monumental stone counter is lined in pale gridded wood reminiscent of traditional Japanese joinery, while a pair of central columns is clad in cracked stone with gold-coloured infill in a reference to the kintsugi mending technique.
    The lounge is framed by a gridded wooden structure similar to the one found in the bar. But here, it is stained a deep indigo blue.

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    In the guest rooms, Rockwell Studio combined millwork pieces with leather and bronze-coloured detailing, while slabs of stone and travertine with bronze inlays feature in the bathrooms alongside frameless glass-panelled showers.
    A moodier atmosphere reigns in the suites, where sofas sit on plinths and millwork is finished in saturated lacquer colours. The presidential suite is organised around a sculptural Japanese tea hearth made of roughly carved stone.
    Bathrooms in the suites also include a traditional ofuro soaking tub, which is separated from the shower by screens clad in ceramic tiles.
    Bronze-coloured detailing accentuates the rooms’ built-in storage. Photo is by Cristina GarciaThe hotel’s meeting rooms feature views down into the lobby for a casual, connected feel, while sliding wood panels can be used for conjoining or separating different spaces.
    A Nobu sushi restaurant sits at the top of the building with panoramic views of the Catalan capital. Its kintsugi-influenced ceiling consists of live-edge walnut panels intersected by gold-coloured veins.
    Over the backlit onyx bar, a cracked blue ceramic ceiling complements columns clad in kintsugi sculptures made from blue and white ceramics.
    Millwork details also show up in the bathrooms. Photo is by Cristina GarciaNobu opened its first hotel in Malibu in 2017, with the aim of bringing the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese inn to the coast of California.
    Since then, Nobu Hotels has opened 12 more outposts including a beachside resort in Mexico made from locally sourced stone.
    The photography is by Ricardo Labougle unless otherwise stated.

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    Twisting bamboo installation weaves through Barcelona's Casa Loewe

    Spanish fashion brand Loewe has reopened its Barcelona flagship, which it has transformed into a gallery-like space with an undulating bamboo installation that winds across its surfaces.

    Casa Loewe is set inside Casa Lléo Morera, a modernist building created by Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner off one of the Spanish city’s major shopping streets.
    Loewe has reopened its flagship store in BarcelonaThe flagship was renovated to create a gallery-like space and restored to highlight the 19th-century building’s original features, including gold-leaf detailing that adorns the ceilings.
    Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson interspersed art collections and curated furniture across the store’s interior, alongside the luxury fashion brand’s ready-to-wear collections, accessories and fragrances.
    Casa Loewe features a bamboo installation by Tanabe Chikuunsai IVAs craft is an integral element of Loewe’s identity, a key goal for Casa Loewe’s interior scheme was to showcase various artists and artwork.

    Anderson filled the store with installations and objects that the brand explained epitomised innovation and craftsmanship, including sculptures by winners and finalists in the brand’s Craft Prize.
    The store was designed to look like a galleryA centrepiece of the interior is a twisting bamboo installation by Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, which weaves across the store’s ceiling, walls and structural columns.
    The installation, titled Yūgo, was crafted from 6,000 pieces of tiger bamboo woven together to create the winding tubular forms.

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    “It was important for me to express Loewe’s tradition and innovation while creating a work that merges the building and the bamboo installation together,” Chikuunsai IV told Dezeen.
    “[Anderson’s] essence is his passion for materials and creating innovation while maintaining tradition,” he said. “Thus, I wanted to create something that fuses art, fashion, and nature together in order to form a futuristic and creative universe.”
    It incorporates decorative furniture and artwork. Photo is courtesy of LoeweAlongside Chikuunsai IV’s bamboo installation is a macramé structure by Catalan artist Aurèlia Muñoz. It is suspended from the ceiling of the ground floor in front of a blue tile-clad wall, which was created by Ceràmica Cumella.
    Ceràmica Cumella also erected ceramic-clad columns across the store in varying shades of white and blue to reference the Mediterranean Sea.
    Chikuunsai IV’s installation was crafted from 6,000 pieces of bambooIconic furniture pieces are dotted throughout Casa Loewe on top of its concrete floors, including Gerrit Thomas Reitveld’s Utrecht chairs and an oak arts and crafts armchair by William Birch.
    Other recent projects by Loewe include the costume design for an immersive installation at London’s Tate Britain in 2018, developed in collaboration with Anthea Hamilton.
    Tiles in shades of white and blue reference the sea. Photo is courtesy of LoeweCeline creative director Hedi Slimane recently employed a similar interior scheme across his London flagship store for the French fashion house – balancing historic Edwardian features with contemporary art and furniture.
    Other retail spaces recently featured on Dezeen include a Balenciaga store clad in pink faux fur, which is featured in our roundup of ten weird and wonderful shop interiors.
    The photography is by Adrià Cañameras unless stated otherwise.

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    NeuronaLab reorganises Barcelona loft with blue stair storage unit

    A large blue unit provides extra space and storage in a compact Barcelona apartment, which has been renovated by local architecture studio NeuronaLab.

    The renovation transforms Loft in Poblenou, a former studio loft, into a two-bedroom apartment with a separate, dedicated workspace.
    A blue unit divides the former studio apartmentThe owner bought the flat 10 years ago, when he was living alone.
    The space started to become cramped after his partner moved in and they had a baby. Things became even worse during the pandemic, with the couple needing to work from home, and their son increasingly needing more space.
    A living space and kitchen is created in front of the unit”The family had no choice but to have all their objects in the middle of the space; it was a real mess,” said NeuronaLab founder Ana Garcia.

    “The challenge was to make much better use of the volume, so that the new family would not have to change homes due to lack of space and order,” she told Dezeen.
    The unit creates storage and integrates a staircaseGarcia’s solution was to insert a large piece of furniture that informally divides the space into different zones and provides plenty of storage.
    She has also taken advantage of the loft’s high ceilings by installing a new mezzanine floor, which is accessed via a staircase built into the storage unit.
    With these two interventions, plus the relocation of the old bathroom, the apartment now has a completely different layout.
    A blue shade was chosen to contrast the wooden flooringThe space in front of the storage unit becomes an open-plan living and dining space. A bedroom and study are located behind, with the new bathroom sandwiched in between, while the mezzanine overhead creates a second bedroom.
    “Four spaces are generated that are similar in size and interchangeable with each other,” said Garcia.
    “On the other hand, the mezzanine allows a certain disorder on the higher level, which remains out of sight on a day-to-day basis, such as the toys or the children’s bed.”
    A mezzanine takes advantage of the high ceilingsGarcia developed two possible colour schemes for the space, with the owners eventually settling on blue rather than pink.
    An aquamarine shade was selected for its natural contrast with the warm tones of the loft’s wooden floorboards, which have been revived using water-based varnishes.

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    Made from pressed, recycled cellulose panels, this unit serves various different storage purposes. It contains the fridge-freezer and food larder, it serves as a wardrobe and it creates room for utility items such as an ironing board.
    The layout was carefully planned to ensure everything had a place.
    “We made a list of everything that we had to relocate in the proposed cabinets,” explained Garcia, “and we measured the approximate volume of storage needed.”
    This space provides one of two bedroomsGarcia was previously a founding director of Nook Architects, but recently left the practice to launch her own studio.
    Nook is a specialist in creating space-saving solutions for small homes, with previous examples including a flat with a storage floor and one with a mezzanine bed deck.
    Garcia continues this approach, but also introduced elements of psychology and neuroscience to her design process. Her aim is to create homes that don’t just work well, but also promote wellbeing.
    A second bedroom and study slot in under the mezzanine”At NeuronaLab, our initial questionnaires go far beyond the typical briefing of a project,” she explained. “We not only ask about the number of bedrooms, but we delve into a client’s routines, their lifestyle, their chronotype, if they receive guests, if they exercise at home and how they need the space to respond to the new needs of the home office.”
    “We also analyse the space from parameters beyond proportion or functionality,” she continued.
    “We visit the house at different times of the day to observe the change in the light that enters through the double facade, we analyse the cross ventilation, the smells and also the noise from the environment.”
    A new bathroom is sandwiched between these two roomsHere, she believes the combination of different lighting zones and heights more comfortably allow different domestic activities to coexist.
    “The higher height encourages common life and social relations with guests, and the lower height in the darkest area favours rest,” she added.
    The choice of materials supports this ambition. Garcia opted for breathable and moisture-absorbing products – including ceramic tiles by Matter Atelier – to improve air quality inside the home.
    Photography is by Marcela Grassi.

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    The Hoxton opens Ricardo Bofill-informed hotel in Barcelona

    London-based hospitality group Ennismore has opened a hotel in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona that draws on the bright colours and architectural style of Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill.

    Named The Hoxton Poblenou, after the neighbourhood in the east of the city that was once a hub for the production of textiles where it is based, the 240-room hotel is The Hoxton first Spanish location.
    Ennismore’s design team looked to the work of the late architect Bofill, whose studio is situated nearby,  for the hotel’s interiors. The Spanish architect, who passed away earlier this year, was known for his use of colourful geometric forms and conversion of a dilapidated cement factory into his own studio.
    The Hoxton, Poblenou has opened in Barcelona”Our chief inspiration for the entire project was the infamous late architectural designer, Bofill,” said Ennismore senior designer Charlotte Flynn.
    “His ingenious way of reframing and reimagining old industrial buildings led to many of the architectural features,” she told Dezeen.

    “The use of simple local materials such as ceramic tile, terracotta and concrete was also something that rang true to us from Bofill’s aesthetic.”
    It is the first Spanish site of The Hoxton hotel seriesAlongside the guest suites, the hotel has a rooftop with a pool and bar, pizza restaurant and a bodega. Three meeting and events spaces make up an area named The Apartment, while a basement space called La Cave hosts local events.
    The Hoxton Poblenou’s lobby was framed by floor-to-ceiling windows and curved doorway arches. The focal point of the space is a curved all-day bar serving coffee and drinks that is fronted by a colourful hand-painted mural.
    The designers used colours and forms associated with architect Ricardo BofillElsewhere in the lobby, potted plants, rattan chairs and other seating upholstered with tactile fabrics and patterns can be found.
    Lobbies at The Hoxton’s range are open twenty-four hours to both guests and members of the public as they are designed to be social, community hubs.
    The hotel also houses a pizza restaurantAccording to Flynn, the designers opted for Mediterranean colours in the common areas, as in the peachy plastered walls and tan-hued leather sofas because The Hoxton Poblenou was their first opportunity to design a hotel in a hot and sunny climate.
    Similarly, material choices such as vivid toned glazed tiling were inspired by local Spanish building materials used for roofs and floors.
    Three meeting rooms are located on the ground floor”Bright, sun-drenched palettes, swathes of sheer materials and Mediterranean planting were an absolute must to provide some exotic escapism,” said Flynn.
    “The colour palette ties all the spaces together; reminiscent of a typically Spanish vista featuring terracotta, ocean blues, sunny yellow hues, olive greens and our own addition of pastel and raspberry pinks.”
    Rooms are furnished with natural materials and vintage sourced furnitureUpstairs in the guest rooms, faded floral prints embellish the soft furnishings while bespoke tapestries handmade in India hang above every bed in a nod to Poblebou’s fabric-making past.
    In many of the rooms, the designers departed from their usual choice of timber flooring, which can be found in The Hoxton Southwark. Instead, they opted for terracotta, in an echo of traditional Spanish homes.

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    “Typically, we’ve always designed bedrooms with a timber floor, but it felt like an appropriate and natural departure point for us given the location,” explained Flynn.
    “We layered the space with plenty of rugs in natural Jutes and a deep saturated jewel-toned blue natural wool,” she added.
    “Earthy and oceanic tones are chief in the fabrics and artwork sat against a breezier green and white backdrop.”
    Bedrooms have a muted colour palette and faded floral furnishingsNatural materials like wool and rattan were used throughout the suites in the furniture and lighting, as an ode to Esparto weaving – a traditional Spanish craft. In the bathrooms, several of which have bathtubs, terracotta tiles line the floors and walls.
    A large majority of the furniture and lighting at The Hoxton, Poblenou was designed in-house and produced in Spain and Portugal.
    The hotel bathrooms have terracotta-tiled floorsKey vintage items were sourced from around Europe such as a pair of woven armchairs from the Dutch department store Vroom & Dreesman and a floor lamp from the 1960s by Vico Magistretti for Artemide.
    Contemporary items include a Gustaf Westman Blob Table coffee table and Tino Seubert’s Corrugation Pendant light.
    The first hotel in The Hoxton series was opened by Ennismore in 2006 in London. The Hoxton now has 11 locations across Europe and the US, three of which are in London.
    For The Hoxton Portland, Ennismore transformed a historic building in Portland, Oregon, into a hotel with refreshed modernist-influenced interiors while The Hoxton Chicago which is located on the site of an old meatpacking facility references the industrial nature of its past.
    The photography is by Heiko Prigge.

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    Four-storey spiral staircase forms focal point of BSP20 House in Barcelona

    A towering spiral staircase and a golden kitchen are some of the features that Raúl Sánchez Architects has introduced in its renovation of this townhouse in Barcelona’s Borne neighbourhood.

    BSP20 House has been in the making since 2013, when Raúl Sánchez Architects was approached by the building’s owners to turn it into a live-work space where they could stay during visits to the city.
    A white spiral staircase rises up from the ground floorHowever, due to regulatory issues, construction works didn’t begin for another seven years. During this period the already dilapidated building fell into further ruin, and at one point was even used as a squat.
    When the renovation finally got underway in August 2020, Raúl Sánchez Architects decided to completely gut the building, only leaving behind the four exterior walls and roof.
    This level of the home also features a brass kitchen suiteAs a result, three new floor levels have been inserted, each installed in such a way so that they don’t touch the building’s front or rear facades.

    Some of the resulting gaps have been filled with panes of glass, allowing residents to steal glimpses of different levels of the home.
    The staircase grants access to each of the home’s four levelsA huge void on the right side of BSP20’s interior now accommodates a white spiral staircase that winds up through the ground, first, second and third floors, all the way to the decked terrace on top of the building.
    Positioned directly above the stairs is a glazed opening that lets natural light filter deep into the plan.
    Rooms have largely been left empty so they can be used for different purposesSeeing the building in such a bare state at the beginning of the renovation process encouraged Raul Sanchez Architects to keep its rough, time-worn brick walls.
    “Those four walls, over 15 metres high, are a museum of the building’s history, where any trace of its construction, and of its use, will be left unaltered, exposed in all its crudeness,” said the studio.
    Raúl Sánchez Architects has preserved the building’s original brick wallsA similarly hands-off approach has been taken with the rest of the interior; most rooms have been largely left without fixtures and fittings so that, if necessary, they can be used for different purposes in the future.
    On the ground floor there is a kitchen, its cabinetry crafted from lustrous brass.
    “In terms of materiality, a certain refinement has been pursued in the new elements to be implemented, in opposition to the crude expressiveness of the existing walls, conscious that the space must house a home,” explained the studio.
    Natural light seeps in from a glazed opening above the staircaseOn the second floor there is only a bathroom lined with cream-coloured lacquered wood, finished with gold-tone hardware.
    The electrics, air-conditioning system and telephone wires have also been concealed within six steel tubes that run upwards through the home.
    Pale lacquered wood lines surfaces in the bathroomWhen it came to restoring BSP20’s facade, the practice had to follow strict heritage guidelines – but it was granted more freedom in the appearance of the front door.
    It’s now clad with three different types of aluminium, and features a graphic rhomboidal design that nods to the patterned hydraulic floor tiles seen inside the house.
    The home was given a new geometric-print front doorRaúl Sánchez Architects has completed several residential projects in its home city of Barcelona.
    Others include The Magic Box Apartment, which features a huge gold wardrobe, and Atic Aribau, which has bright, stripped-back interiors.
    Photography is by José Hevia.
    Project credits:
    Architecture: Raúl SánchezArchitecture team: Valentina Barberio, Paolo BurattiniStructure consultant: Diagonal ArquitecturaEngineering: Marés Ingenieros

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    Takk founders build all-white “igloo” bedroom for their young daughter

    Furry white fabric lines the interior of this winter-themed kid’s bedroom, which Mireia Luzárraga and Alejandro Muiño of Spanish studio Takk have constructed inside their home in Barcelona.

    Affectionately titled Winter Bedroom (for a Big Grrl), the self-contained structure was designed as a hideaway for the couple’s young daughter.
    It takes the shape of a 3.5-metre-high dome that tapers off into a narrow entrance on one side, resembling an igloo.
    Takk’s founders have built an igloo-shaped bedroom for their daughterThe project forms part of Takk’s ongoing and continuous renovation of the warehouse space where its founders both live and build their large-scale architectural works.
    “The house-workshop is a 400-square-metre space that can host the installations that we design and produce,” Luzárraga told Dezeen.

    “At the same time, the space is being colonised by some domestic spaces that condition it for living. It’s continuously changing depending on the work that we are developing. Some of the pieces stay forever, and some of them are temporary.”
    The interior is covered almost entirely in a fluffy white carpetMost of the materials used to form the Winter Bedroom are repurposed from Takk’s previous projects, including the steel-chain curtain that covers the entrance in lieu of a door and the three layers of foam that line the dome’s ceiling and its entire exterior.
    Set on top of a wooden structure of vertical and horizontal ribs, the foam sheets serve seral purposes. For one, they maintain the all-white palette of the sleeping quarters and provide extra warmth in the industrial warehouse, which has plenty of space and light but little insulation.

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    Unlike traditional cladding or wall panelling, the foam also moulds easily to the dome’s rounded form.
    “The flexible condition of the material easily adapts to the igloo shape,” explained Muiño, who founded Takk together with Luzárraga shortly after the couple met in 2008.
    Spherical lights are fitted to the domed ceilingInside the bedroom, a snowy carpet covers not just the floor but also the walls and the raised platform that holds up the bed.
    “The interior space has a floor at a height of 90 centimetres where the mattress lies, all covered in a white furry carpet ready to be enjoyed barefoot,” Muiño said. “Below this big bed, there is a space for storing, playing or hiding.”
    Spherical lights integrated into the ceiling form what the studio describes as “a sky of bulbs”, designed to create the impression of looking up at the stars.
    The self-contained bedroom is set in a converted warehouseTakk recently constructed another self-contained bedroom as part of an apartment renovation in Madrid, where the communal sleeping quarters are perched on stilts.
    For more creative kids’ bedrooms, see our lookbook of ten contemporary children’s bedrooms.

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    Jeanne Schultz designs Passeig de Grácia apartment around period features

    Ornamental details including a stone fireplace and a gilded mirror take centre stage in this minimal revamp of a Barcelona apartment overseen by Jeanne Schultz Design Studio.

    Located on Passeig de Grácia, the two-bedroom flat boasts a range of period features including a Catalan vault ceiling, wooden parquet flooring and an antique chandelier.
    Period details in the flat include a stone fireplace and wood panellingThese ornamental details command attention, yet Barcelona-based Schultz and her team have managed to make the interior feel bright and spacious by adding new furniture sparingly and adopting a sensitive colour strategy that enhances what’s already there.
    “We maintained almost all elements of the flat,” Schultz told Dezeen. “Architectural interventions were all in the interest of preserving the home and refinishing it.”
    Furniture was added sparingly to offer a minimalist feelPasseig de Grácia 97 is owned by a young entrepreneur who recently relocated from Paris. As he is often travelling, he wanted his home to feel both functional and peaceful.

    Schultz felt it was important to retain as many of the apartment’s existing features as possible, but to make them feel fresh by pairing them with characterful modern pieces.
    “The client wanted just the essentials, so the space is carefully curated,” she explained. “Each object plays with our core ideas of earthiness, handcrafted, local and comfortable.”
    Green tiles within the fireplace influenced the colour schemeThe starting point for her design was the living room, where a pink stone fireplace with chequered green tiles is set against a wall of wood panelling and shelves.
    “One the things that struck me most about the flat was the living room with its charm: all the existing wood shelving and millwork, the crown moulding and antique details,” said Schultz.
    Old patio doors were sanded and repaired, then repainted greenTo complement these elements, a green tone was added to doors, window frames and ceiling mouldings, to announce this room as the centre of the home.
    The same green features in the velvet dining chairs, which surround a wooden table at one end of the room.
    Other key details in this room include a curvy white armchair, a bulky black side table and a bulbous leather floor lamp.
    Walls are painted in subtly different shades of white, to enhance light contrastsFor the rest of the home, Schultz was keen to maintain the vistas through the floor plan.
    The flat has an unusual layout that contains no corridors. The lobby, kitchen, living room and dining space are laid out in sequence, connected by arched doorways, while two bedrooms and bathrooms are set alongside.

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    “There is a linear focal point starting from the entry leading to the terrace, which allows for this amazing procession through the spaces,” said Schultz. “The sunlight hits all the way from the terrace to the entry.”
    To highlight the lighting contrasts, the walls in different rooms are painted in subtly different shades of white.
    Rooms in the apartment are arranged in sequence, connected by arched doorwaysThe gilded mirror was found in the apartment, but was deemed too large to be hung from a wall. Instead it is propped up in the corner of the main bedroom, offering cloudy grey reflections of the room.
    To balance the visual of this element and emphasise the high ceiling, Schultz chose a low, platform-style bed.
    A gilded mirror is the focal point in the main bedroomThe biggest challenge for the designer was the project timeline; she was given just five weeks to complete, which provided challenging when many existing elements – the patios, for instance – needed to be repaired.
    To ensure she completed on time, Schultz sourced all of the furniture from retailers with shops in Barcelona, including Dareels, Kave Home and Oliver.
    Other examples of refurbished apartments in Barcelona include a geometric design for a flat in Ricardo Bofill’s Walden 7 and a yellow scheme for a home in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi.
    Photography is by Adrià Goula.

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    Jagged MDF creates entire walls of storage for El Guateque apartments in Barcelona

    Kitchens, bathrooms and storage spaces are slotted behind an MDF “scenography” in these apartments designed by architects Adrià Escolano and David Steegmann. Escolano and Steegmann created the two El Guateque apartments by converting a 160-square-metre self-build house from the 1950s. A refurbishment had previously been attempted in 2007, but was abandoned due to the financial […] More