b-guided > Barcelona

Gràcia Courtyard

Inside and outside

By Brian Gallagher 02.01.14

Architect Carles Enrich has undertaken this refurbishment project for a house in the Gràcia neighbourhood. The most recent incarnation for this site originally built as a courtyard house (typical of this area) was a dry cleaners business. The resulting project now houses a young family bringing new life into the neighbourhood. “It was a fantastic opportunity to rethink the use of an abandoned space and make the best of site conditions,” explains Enrich about the project.

Because of the previous subdivision many of the rooms had no light or natural ventilation. The old partitions were taken down and the external openings enlarged, the house is now organised around the internal courtyard which all the spaces overlook, the bathroom being the only closed room. The other notable intervention has been the partial excavation of the basement, which the architect has taken advantage of in order to construct a mezzanine level providing additional accommodation space. This new basement level (directly below the mezzanine) becomes a children's room, while the upper level has been left open plan and accommodates another bedroom.

  • The gallery structure is supported on metal I beams with 3cm thick MDF panels. The loft is intended to be more than just a "suspended piece of furniture" according to the architect but to be a room in its own right. The refurbished house has also uncovered the original materials, the wooden beams and terracotta tile ceilings. Externally an old storage area located at the back of the yard has also rehabilitated accommodating a satellite studio. A metal pergola structure has been erected in the courtyard providing privacy to the residents and helping cool the house during summer, the external landscaping and trees create an urban garden within this dense city context.

  • Gràcia Courtyard
  • Architect; Carles Enrich
  • www.carlesenrich.com
  • Photos; Carles Enrich + Enric Fabre