A house enclosed by 4 walls over 15 m high that become a museum of the history – stratified – of the building. In the center, a sculptural staircase white connects the 4 levels giving an ascetic abstraction

Slender and layered, airy and essential. After a long and complex design process he sees (literally) the light BSP20 , a small and intimate house that develops in height renovated by Raúl Sánchez in the Borne neighborhood in Barcelona. The intervention involved a building typical of the end of the 19th century distributed on four floors, each spread over just 20 m2.

A three-dimensional mosaic abstracts the entrance

The facade on the street has been restored following the strict dictates which protect the architectural heritage of the Catalan city. To animate it the large front of the door of the entrance which reproduces the three-dimensional design of the classic mosaic of decorated tiles, also laid on the floor. A vibrant explosion of rhombuses and triangles finished with 3 types of aluminum that hides the door and abstracts the entrance.

From ruin to a slender and bright home

The BSP20 project started eight years ago, going through all kinds of problem. The original situation of the building was that of a ruin to be demolished, keeping only the facades, the dividing walls and the roof slab, to adapt also to current regulations.

On show the material stratification  and historical of the building

The slow and complex construction process made it possible to evaluate each situation in a thoughtful way: new solutions full of charm were born. Once all the floors had been demolished, for example, the immobile appeared as a slender prism with walls formed by a heterogeneous composition of bricks and stones of all kinds, arranged without any apparent order. Hence the idea that from material becomes conceptual: leave the four walls, over 15 meters high, as well as were originally, transforming them into a sort of museum of the history of the building, where every trace of its construction (arches, architraves, stairs and beams) and its use (remains of mortar, furnishings, coatings) will remain unchanged, exposed in all its raw and unconventional beauty.

The partition walls do not touch the structure

The floors are supported by new beams placed between the dividing walls which do not touch either side. A sophisticated sheet of glass separates the walls from the main façade which gives lightness to the architectural volume, while, towards the internal facade, the distance is given by the airy compartment inside which develops the spiral staircase that connects the four levels, emphasizing the surprising height of the building, which appears even more 'lean'.

From the bottom to the ’top, the sequence of environments

Entrance-kitchen-dining room / living room / bathroom-dressing room / bedroom and terrace: this one, from the bottom towards the high, the sequence - and the - configuration of living areas. With the exception of the kitchen and bathroom furniture, which provide for constrained drains, the other environments are flexible: over time they can therefore be inverted in their arrangement according to need, also turning into work spaces. 

Visible implants (and cylinders)

Intentionally in sight, seven stainless steel cylinders run through full height of the building, conducting all systems (electrical and hydraulic, sanitization and conditioning, as well as relating to telecommunications) inside the of 6 cylinders, leaving one empty for future needs. The rest of the systems are also exposed, never recessed, highlighting the roughness of the masonry walls on which they are placed and enhancing the raw and industrial flavor of the home.

The precious materials enhance the raw expressiveness

To make the rooms more welcoming and elegant, refined materials were chosen in contrast to the raw expressiveness of the existing walls. If the kitchen was made in satin brass with top in white marble , the furnishings of the bathroom are in lacquered wood in a soft cream hue, with details in black and brass. The floors are covered in white microcement or in the typical mosaic of tiles in decorative cement, while the ceilings are in lacquered wood; microcement and oak, finally, give color and warmth to living spaces.

The staircase in the center of the project

The sculptural spiral staircase, totally painted in white, gives lightness and material abstraction, as well as essential functionality of connection of the four levels of the house. Developed as a self-supporting cylinder that runs the entire height of the building without ever touching the walls, offers Piranesian views emphasized by the heterogeneity of the walls and the diversity of points of view.

The skylight

At the top, at the top of the stairwell, a skylight allows natural light to enter abundantly and then descend, changing gradation, down to the lowest levels giving continuity visual to all home. Bounced from the glass sheets, the light creates iridescent reflections, making BSP20 a contained but bright and welcoming house, able to intertwine raw stratifications with precious materials, (few) furnishings with a simple design in spaces with style industrial, immersed in a relaxing, ethereal, monastic atmosphere.