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Diagonal Avenue apartment by YLAB Arquitectos

Located in the traditional Barcelona Ensanche area, this apartment shared some typical traditional aspects such as a long, narrow and partitioned layout from façade to façade with hydraulic tiles flooring, and wall and ceiling moldings.

Designed by YLAB Arquitectos

Photography by Tobias Laarmann

The client, having a passion for modern and industrial design, wanted to preserve some traditional elements, free up some space to allocate the common areas while introducing modern elements with raw materials and rich textures such as cement floorings, black iron, dark tinted elm natural wood or bush hammered black granite.

The design looks for the contrast and tension between the traditional elements, predominantly light, and the contemporary elements, dark and powerful, that seem to be inserted in the original space.

The deliberately sharp combination of contemporary design and the old structure creates a very individual space full of contrasts and tensions. The apartment tells the tale of two different periods and samples of craftsmanship combined in the same space.

The kitchen cubic volume, entirely black bush hammered granite finished, is fitted next to a classic molding decorated corridor. Its monolithic aspect, strong and austere, has been achieved through fine detailed mitre joints and the bush hammered handcrafted texture. Between the kitchen and the corridor, an oak island softens the contrast.

In the private area at the other side of the kitchen, the long corridor that gives access to the bedrooms is paneled with a graphite tinted elm wood, as a chromatic continuity to the kitchen volume.

Inside the master bedroom, this dark wood forms the custom-made wardrobes and bed furniture. A large wood sliding door separates the sleeping area from the bath and a closet. The central standing washbasin with a mirror hides the more private areas.

A large black iron made-to-measure furniture separates the kitchen from a dining room with high ceilings and white cornices. This double-faced furniture hides the kitchen appliances as well as the structural elements of the original wall.

The flooring preserves the essence of the multi-colored hydraulic tiles, forming a central “rug” surrounded by a continuous cement satin white floor emphasizing the style contrast.

The space overall is complemented by art and furniture pieces that bring a cohesive and distinct character to the whole project. A large tinted concrete table by Kristalia occupies the dining room center bellow a set of cement Foscarini suspended lamps surrounded by the classic Vitra Wire Chairs. At the end, a beautiful engraving signed by Jaume Plensa dominates the view.

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