The art of maximizing space in this Spanish micro-apartment

Cabinet Apt - Eugeni Bach Architects, Barcelona, Spain

When it comes to designing small and challenging spaces filled with angles and limitless possibilities, having a keen eye is crucial to meeting the client’s needs while also fueling future design ideas. The transformation of an old single-bedroom apartment in the Valencia district of Barcelona by the Barcelona-based design studio Anna and Eugeni Bach Architects is a testament to this. Spanning 77 square meters (829 square feet), this apartment may not seem like a forever home at first glance, with its tight corners and limited open space. However, through clever design choices and innovative interior design, this Cabinet Studio Apartment makes the most of its space, creating an illusion of spaciousness in unexpected places.

Driven by the client’s desire for a study area and a potential retirement home, the original floor plan underwent a remarkable evolution. The journey begins at the entrance, where a lengthy hallway leads into the open kitchen and dining area. Adjacent to this space are the bedroom and a combined large living room and office, with a concealed bathroom accessed through a feature service wall that follows the 45-degree angle of the home. In the initial layout, the kitchen was enclosed and connected to a storage room. Despite featuring a sizable living room, the challenge lay at the end of the hallway, where an awkward, seemingly purposeless area existed. By integrating the service wall, this space was cleverly transformed into a hidden bathroom, concealed behind a discreet latch door.

Service walls, commonly utilized in healthcare settings, serve as a means to organize various tools and technologies within a coherent design. They offer the ability to conceal or reveal items as needed, making them a valuable storage solution for compact homes seeking to maximize wall space and utilize cramped corners effectively. The wooden service wall in this apartment not only provides storage but also creates a sense of continuity as it extends down the hallway, giving the illusion of a wider entrance. Beyond storage, an elevated loft accessed by a set of built-in narrow stairs offers additional space that can serve as a storage room, a mezzanine study, or an extra bedroom for unexpected guests or visiting grandkids.

Throughout the apartment, optical illusions abound, playing with angles and materials to enhance the living space. Molded ceilings in most rooms add a hidden dimension while creating angular patterns that echo those found on the floor. Subtle yet impactful details are evident in areas like the kitchen, where marble-tiled flooring aligns with the angled wall, culminating in a corner at the front of the home. The white interior walls serve as a backdrop for another clever element: 3D geometric and mosaic tile flooring inspired by local designs seen in churches, large residences, and communal areas. This colorful and intricate tiling serves as a standout feature in this cozy space.

Eugeni Bach Architects

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