One of 6 small houses located inside a 19th Century villa in a peaceful neighborhood of Barcelona
Diana Martin and Max Enrich are the designers and residents of this 45sqm apartment located in Nena Casas, a calm street in the Barcelona residential neighborhood of Tres Torres.
Originally, the ground floor of the villa had many rooms divided by walls. It was very old and run down and had not been renovated since 1936.
Martin and Enrich removed all of the walls, except for the division between the bedroom and main space. As a furniture designer, the plan was to redesign the floorplan and design and build the furniture that would meet their needs and enhance their experience of the space.
The main space in the villa serves as a living, kitchen, and dining room.
As the ‘heart’ of the house, the main space is in constant use. Martin and Enrich start the day by having breakfast here, sometimes working in the integrated office nook, and frequently have lunch and dinner here.
They designed and built a multifunctional piece of furniture that combines a sofa, a dining table, and a counter, all in one seamless unit, made from MDF. The sofa has big comfortable cushions and extra space on one side to put down books and personal belongings.
Some space was left under the sofa to design a custom piece for their dog, Bilma, it slides out when in use, and slides back under to save space.
Behind the sofa is a countertop that also works as an extension to the kitchen which can also collapse down when not in use to free up space.
The kitchen is fully equipped with an induction cooktop, a medium-sized sink, a hidden dishwasher, and lots of storage from floor to ceiling.
The kitchen also continues around the wall under the stairs. Where you can find a fridge, oven, and more pantry space.
The office is to the right of the kitchen and continues to follow the same design language to look like one large unit. Martin and Enrich integrated a built-in light above the desk and plenty of storage all around.
The bedroom is accessed via sliding doors.
Above the bed there is a narrow ledge behind to act as a headboard and a place to put a bedside lamp and personal belongings.
There is a large built-in closet along the wall with plenty of storage.
To optimise available light flow, the bedroom and bathroom are blended seamlessly together, with the bedroom enjoying the natural light from the automated (fully opening) bathroom skylight.
Small grey mosaic tiles from floor to ceiling further brighten and amplify the light with the spacious vanity covered in the same tiles.
Martin and Enrich are optimistic about the potential that these small apartments provide
“We think these inner-city dwellings present an opportunity for people in certain stages of their lives such as young professionals like us.
For the moment it is just the two of us living here. And Bilma, of course. This villa has everything we need in a small space.
The city center is only a bike ride away so we are close to shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Barcelona has its expansion limited by the geographical context. There are still plenty of small spaces to be refurbished to make more housing for people.”