Instead of building anew, or demolishing them outright, many European cities have older buildings that could be viable candidates for preservation -- by way of transforming them into new residences. In Barcelona, Egue y Seta converted a small, 430-square-foot (40-square-metre) space into a contemporary home for a couple, conceived as an "urban beach house."
Situated near the sea, this charming yet modern redesign tore down old walls, but retains elements of the apartment's original character: rustic brick walls and the lovely crowning touches of the iconic Catalan vault. Imbued with warm textures like wood and brick, the apartment mixes a pale white palette with accents of sky and marine blue to tie it in with its beach-inspired theme.
The main living space is open and comprises of the sitting area, dining area and kitchen. Off to the side is the balcony overlooking the street outside.
The kitchen is nicely done: there's plenty of visible and hidden storage in the shelves and cabinets for food and small appliances. Instead of wasting space on an enormous kitchen island, a dining table has been placed here -- not too big, not too small at four seats. Lots of lighting here to keep things feeling bright and open.
Now here's the interesting twist: looking toward the bedroom, one sees that instead of bringing the shelving unit up to the ceiling and out to the sides, the designers have installed glass partitions, which allow one's eye to travel beyond and along the brick wall, creating an illusion of greater space.
On the other side of the shelving unit is the bedroom, which uses the same unit, but as a wardrobe here. The glass around it provides more light and a sense of spatial continuity, but blinds can be lowered here to offer more privacy.
The bathroom sits adjacent to the bedroom, and features a toilet that has its own door, a shower and large vanity and sink.
With some subtle but significant touches, the design manages to make the space feel much larger than it really is, and at the same time, reminds one that the beach is not too far away from home. To see more, visit Egue y Seta.