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nook architects, library, Barcelona

Living in a library of your own: The Bookcase by Nook Architects

A practically rectilinear rectangle, a practically adjacent roof terrace and a floor plan that reflected the frequent alterations and extensions that had formed the building over the years – this sums up the home of a translator and author who asked Nook Architects to provide her a more flexible use of space with little in common with the typical functionality of a conventional house.

Zonal configuration

The apartment, which gains daylight on the two short sides of its rectangular floor plan and from a central patio, is divided into different zones by load-bearing walls running parallel to the street façades. The first zone, a large room that can now be used for work, reading or lounging, is accompanied by further rooms that become increasingly private in nature. The next zone consists of the centrally located staircase featuring on one side an entrée and on the other a guestroom with access to a bathroom in the same zone as the patio and a further sitting room. Cooking is done in the middle of the apartment where an open kitchen and dining area take up the complete width of the dwelling, thus forming a further zone. Finally this leads over to the most private zone incorporating two bedrooms, a dressing room, a bathroom and a door to the roof terrace.

Storage as the primary goal

Shelves are a recurring theme throughout the whole of the altered apartment. Since the client needed a lot of storage space for her books, large areas of wall have been transformed with floating shelves that can be used accordingly.  The linear structure and materiality of the shelving is in keeping with the aesthetic of the ceiling beams, while the walls behind the shelves are rendered in a brilliant white to set off the rediscovered surfaces in appropriate fashion. Materials such as timber and terracotta and the old floors with their ornamental tiling are complemented with work surfaces in fair-faced concrete and lightweight room dividers in steel and glass.

In the outdoor area it was possible to restore the balustrade of the roof terrace. Overlapping sections of differing height conceal the uneven floor, and like the rest of the terrace are surfaced in terracotta tiles.

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