City living, Passeig de Gràcia 125 & 127
Luzio designs the pilot apartment
For city planners and architects there is always a tension between conservation of the urban realm and new buildings. What historical structures are worth keeping and what should be replaced with something more contemporary. A high-end new development located on the top of Barcelona’s most iconic avenue Passeig de Grácia (where the avenue turns into Gran de Gràcia) adds to the polemic. Located on the quieter end of the street directly in front of the extraordinary Casa Fuster (designed by Domènech i Montaner and built after No.s 125 & 127) this beautiful enclave also overlooks Los Jardinets de Grácia and has any number of great restaurant and shops nearby.
The architects OAB (the practice headed by Carlos Ferrater Lambarri) were chosen by the client Nuñez i Navarro to carry out this speculative residential project. The approach involved removing the previous stairs serving the separate buildings and providing a new common stair and lift capable of negotiating the difference in level between the separate properties. A new courtyard and rear façade are the most important architectural interventions. There are 9 apartments in total accommodated between the two buildings, the pilot apartment was designed by Luzio the renowned Luxury Concept Store & Studio. The interior designer for the scheme was Rosa Roselló who also carried out the Seventy Hotel Project for the group recently.
The Luxury Concept Store & Studio, Luzio, has been commissioned to create the pilot showroom apartment on Passeig de Gràca, reinterpreting the historic apartment for the modern day.
Luzio’s design takes advantage of the available natural daylight in the building which has a new façade to c/ Riera de Sant Miquel, the street parallel to Passeig de Gràcia. Timber louvers that can move across the rear façade are provided to protect the floor to ceiling glazing which runs the entire width of the apartment. The open plan living and dining area take advantage of views. The style is classic but with selected contemporary furniture pieces and artworks, luxurious and robust to withstand letting to future tenants (all of the apartments are to be rented). The colour scheme is kept neutral but with flourishes added. Future occupants can take advantage of a common roof terrace and plunge pool.
According to María José Gómez, the co-founder of the Luxury Concept Store & Studio: “A building like this which is so full of history required unique products and objects that would add character to the surroundings. We have tried not to detract from the space, which has a more open and modern layout, and we have opted for pieces that give it energy. Like the reconditioned iron bookshelves or the antique woven paper box. Things that attract attention. We also liked the idea of including art and photography because it is very decorative and gives the character to the living space.”
In the words of T Xavi Martí, OAB architects, who was involed with the refurbishment of the building: “The refurbished building is the sum of two pre-existing contiguous buildings. The operation of joining both buildings was been carried out by gutting the central bays, that is the architectural space between the two load-bearing walls of the two adjoining residential buildings, which coincided with the stairs inn both. By doing this it became possible, on the one hand, to open a new courtyard, and on the other, to locate a new core of stairs and off-centre lifts that resolves the access to the different existing levels between the two properties.”
“The transformation of the building implied the important challenge of achieving, through the process of rehabilitation and union of the two houses, the adaptation of this group of buildings from the last century to current uses and needs. The project has not only allowed the interior to be adapted to the current floor measurements, but it has also managed to create the optical illusion of being in front of a single building on both facades, the main façade of Passeig de Gràcia and the back of Riera of Sant Miquel.”
- Architecture: Núñez i Navarro team in collaboration with OAB, Carlos Ferrater and Xavier Martí Galí (OAB)
- Technical team: Montse Trilla (OAB) and Jordi Miró (Sustainable Architecture)
- Showroom: Luzio / Interior design del edifico: Rosa Rosselló