Miguel Garcia Carceles
In the oldest neighborhood of Valencia, La Seu, very close to the Gothic palace of the Generalitat and the Plaza de la Virgen de Valencia, we discover a floor of 65 square meters that, despite having been built in the 19th century, just been born again. Its owners, an Italian couple in love with this Mediterranean city, managed to see beyond the state of neglect and deterioration in which it was found, its old-fashioned distribution (typical of the 40s, when it was renovated for the last time) and its rooms dark that made it difficult to see its charming original elements clearly, and they bet on it moved by the location and convinced of the potential it had to exploit.
His great allies in bringing about this renaissance were the architects Pilar Martí Rodrigo Carlos Muñoz Alfonso, from the mmarq architecture studio. “The main objective of the reform was to emphasize the original elements of the construction, such as the carpentry, the high ceilings with exposed beams and the exposed brick walls “, explain the experts that they had to face a condition as privileged as it was limiting: the building, due to its history, had a level of protection 2, and therefore no element of composition of the facade could be modified. “Since new holes could not be opened, we sought to give light with the colors and materials used, as well as with the study of lighting. All this without losing the essence of an old building”, they explain. Although the main rooms (kitchen, dining room, living room and bedrooms) were kept as they were originally, the architects designed two new bathrooms, one courtesy and the other en suite in the master bedroom, at the express wish of the owners.
For the interior design they have wanted to have a continuous but renewed philosophy. Thus, they have used existing materials in the construction for the new elements “but in a more modern way, achieving a timeless and serene balance”. With white, the neutral colors and the gray of the microcement of the floors have increased the feeling of clarity in the interior. In the decoration, which responds to the personality of the owner, romantic and very feminine, recovered pieces have been mixed with signature designs low cost and furniture that the owners brought from Italy. The story of this floor is ready to continue.
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An abandoned apartment in the center of Valencia has come back to life thanks to the architects of the mmarq architecture studio.
All to the white
As the floor was protected and new windows could not be opened, white has been used to increase the clarity of the interior.
It has been decorated in a very sober style and one of the few elements of the space is an Ikea sofa with a fabric finish that seeks to provide warmth.
Next to the living room we find the dining room which in turn is connected to the kitchen.
In the dining area, a wooden shelf serves as a support for the arrangement of plant elements and a makeshift magazine rack.
The existing table in the dining room has been covered with a galvanized steel sheet and the chairs are Thonet-inspired, made of bent wood and mesh seats. “It combines a slightly industrial spirit, with the use of wood washed in white in unison with the rest of the existing material treatments in the house”, the architects explain.
White and hydraulic
The kitchen furniture is made up of modules, with the confirmation of the carpentry with bas-reliefs, made by the carpenter of the Mediterranean construction company. Hydraulic tiles have been installed on the front. The white furniture unifies the intervention and gives more light to the spaces with reduced dimensions.
The two bedrooms are accessed from the dining area.
In the master bedroom, a bed with a headboard is made up of a new shelf that integrates lighting.
Put clothes away
The room is complemented by an Ikea closet.
The house had only a small toilet, from which the kitchen was increased, and two new bathrooms were created.
Wrought iron bed
In the second bedroom, the bed incorporates white lacquered wrought iron elements with cast iron details at the top.
The strength of white
“The use of white in such small spaces has given us a great feeling of light and spaciousness in the house, which has just 65 m2,” explain the architects.
In the second bedroom, some open white cabinets have been installed and, next to them, access to the bathroom.
“Romantic, based on the personality of the owner, very feminine, but always looking for functionality and a neutrality that makes it more timeless”, they say from mmarq architecture.
A study of the Valencian architectural tradition was also carried out and updated.
Wink to the past
The use of the hydraulic tile is a nod to the building’s past.
The apartment had not been reformed since the 1940s and had been closed and abandoned for several years, so it was in a fairly advanced state of disrepair.
The reform consisted of eliminating unnecessary doors in passage areas and creating others without subtracting meters from the floor.
It was also necessary to provide the living room with a more welcoming space, completely renovate the kitchen to integrate the appliances and expand it with a dining area.
The floor before
It had been uninhabited for several years.
The original exposed brick was recovered, as well as the beams and vaults, elements that were previously completely hidden.
The kitchen before
A laundry area was created by adding the space for an adjoining toilet.
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