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8 Wohnungen in Gràcia, Raimon Farré Moretó, Foto: José Hevia

Minimal Living: Eight Apartments in Gràcia by Raimon Farré Moretó

The building is located in the heart of Barcelona, not far from Sagrada Família. At the south corner of a typical building at the edge of a block, it fits into the urban environment. The design of the three-storey structure seems at once modern, yet well-adapted. With ceiling-high oriels, Raimon Farré Moretó have added a traditional element. These projections structure the façades, which are otherwise simply white and grey. While the plinth has been kept completely in concrete and grey-coloured masonry bricks, as have the oriels, the plain white areas in between round out the exterior view.

Inside, the access core is positioned centrally. The ground floor is completely devoted to arrivals, administrative functions and technical areas. The two apartment levels are located above. Eight units of around 40 m² respectively form the modest spatial program. Each of these benefits from a generous ceiling height of 3.40 m and the oriels. These are one-room apartments. Raimon Farré Moretó have realized a dynamic concept that can be adapted to the needs of residents and allows sufficient private space. Directly adjacent to the entrance, wood build-ins have been integrated into each apartment. These take up 10 m²and are made of frames which have either been filled with pressure-laminated wooden panels or left open. They contain the kitchen and sanitary installations. A flexible built-in module in the same design offers storage space and working area; it also structures the space by delimiting the various functions.

The design is based on five elements, or rather materials, chosen for their longevity. Along with grey reinforced concrete in the form of smooth floors, wall surfaces or moulded bricks, masonry bricks have been used in many places. For the most part, these are painted white, but occur as occasional red stripes that set colour accents along the walls as well. Raimon Farré Moretó list pinewood, plywood, exposed fittings and even dirt as components of the material palette. The latter will accentuate the rough, uneven character of the building, causing it to change – or improve – over the years.

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