The refurbished home stands in the central district of Ruzafa, Valencia, known for its Modernist buildings and urban planning typical of expanding city areas in the late 19th century. The homes, built according to the principles of early 20th century architecture, usually boast high ceilings, large windows, and colourful flooring.
We were lucky that the couple who own the property were especially interested in showing off part of the original architecture, which had been blurred over the years after several refurbishments. So one of the keys to this project was to be sympathetic with some of the existing architectural elements -cement tile flooring, original windows and doors, and high ceilings- and also implementing one of the basic measures of sustainable architecture: reusing materials.
However, the property was elongated and excessively compartmentalised, meaning its inner rooms received practically no natural sunlight. The brief was therefore to find a solution in the distribution to bring generous light to all spaces.
We decided to move the bedrooms to the back of the home, which faces a very spacious inner courtyard away from the busy street. And we moved the living room and kitchen to the front, more suitable for daytime life, relating these spaces to the entrance and balconies on the façade over the street. Bathrooms and installations were located in the middle space between the day and night-time quarters, helping to separate these areas.
This new distribution meant we could orient the daytime space to the southeast, must more suitable for this function; with sunlight inundating the living room and almost to the kitchen during the winter months. Of course, we couldn’t forget ventilation, which we solved by placing the corridor between the front and back windows, generating cross ventilation, and using architectural design to foster thermal comfort.
The choice of soft colours for project materials, as well as the tones used in the brick and wooden wall coverings, aimed to emphasise and highlight the flooring. We also completed minor repairs on the flooring with micro-cement in a tone that easily goes unnoticed.
Photography: Germán Cabo