Project NameCasa Collumpio
|Project Name||Casa Collumpio||Location||
Located in Barcelona’s El Coll neighbourhood, a hilly, densely-built residential area wedged between Carmel Hill and Parc de la Creueta del Coll on the Tribidabo foothills, Casa Collumpio stands out amid the concrete and brick blocks as much for its steel and glass construction as for its yellow colour. Newly-formed Madrid and Barcelona-based architectural practice MACH have channelled a Bauhaus-like sensibility by designing a cubic building of stark architectural simplicity, rigorous geometry and industrial materiality. Stripped-down interiors that turn the concrete, steel and glass building fabric into a minimalist statement enhance the house’s modernist ethos and allow the views of the surrounding hills to take centre stage.
Having to contend with the property’s sloped terrain and small footprint, architects Laia Gelonch and Marc Subirana, the duo behind MACH, came up with a simple yet very effective design based on functionality and openness that aims, as they say, “to frame and enclose a piece of air”. A steel-frame cube placed on a concrete plinth contains three open-plan floors pierced by a central core containing bathrooms and storage. Half-buried on the slope, the concrete plinth houses the bedroom which opens up onto a walled courtyard for privacy while the two upper levels enjoy wide views of Park Güell on Carmel Hill courtesy of the glass facades. Painted bright yellow, the building’s steel structure strikes a harmonious balance with the park’s verdant setting as well as energizes the dull brick-clad housing blocks that surround it.
The building’s concrete and steel structure sets the tone for the minimalist interior design which is characterised by a muted palette of humble materials and neutral colours, austere built-in furnishings, and a complete lack of ornamentation. On the lower level, the building’s exposed concrete surfaces are paired with a ceramic vault construction, terracotta floor tiles and natural wood window frames that imbue the space with warmth despite the ascetic décor.
Upstairs, the white-painted steel structure, concrete brick walls, timber-clad ceiling and light-hued terrazzo floor constitute a muted backdrop for the verdant views of Park Güell. Along with clerestory windows on the back, the glass façade in the front of the house floods the space with natural light. A concrete and steel kitchen island that doubles as a dining counter and a concrete bench running the length of the space also serving as a console, both custom-made by MACH for the project, enhance the minimalist aesthetic, while a green-hued wall painting and yellow-painted metallic staircase add splashes of colour.
On the top floor, a loft-like space that serves as a second bedroom and study features hardwood floors and a corrugated metal ceiling along with concrete brickwork, white-painted steel beams and unobstructed views, further exemplifying Gelonch and Subirana’s masterful fusion of industrial and domestic references.