Commissioned by a young couple to renovate their compact Barcelona apartment, local architecture and interior design studio Allaround Lab had to contend with an elongated, narrow footprint and a cramped, compartmentalized layout which they completely upended to create two bright and airy spaces where each occupant could retreat to during the day. Taking its name from the street where it is located, Carrer Joan Blanques, the project stands out as much for its functional interior design as for its crisp, minimal yet charming aesthetic.
Located on the third floor of an interwar residential building, the apartment was formerly divided into a series of several small rooms connected by a long corridor. The design team has torn down all of the internal walls, creating instead two large spaces: an open-plan living and dining area and a spacious bedroom that can also function as a study. Separating the two is the bathroom volume, while a balcony at the front of the property has been converted into a sun room. What’s more, the apartment’s false ceiling has been taken down to reveal a beautiful composition of Catalan vaults, a traditional construction of low brickwork arches. By increasing the ceiling height and minimizing the internal partitions, the apartment now feels spacious and bright despite its narrow footprint and relatively few windows.
In order to further enhance the same sense of spaciousness the team has adopted an all-white colour palette for the living and bedroom zones, and relegated all storage spaces into a bespoke built-in unit that runs the entire length of the apartment. From TV stand, to kitchen work counter and cabinetry, to bedroom wardrobe, the structure’s multipurpose functionality is matched by its inconspicuous appearance and minimalist design. Complemented by the tan hues of the bathroom volume, the light-toned monochromatic colour scheme is also intended to increase the flow of natural lighting but also allows for the arched forms and ceramic texture of the vaulted ceiling to take centre stage. Combined with the clean lines, trim fittings and sparse, mid-century furnishings, All Around Lab’s minimalist interior design is as polished as it’s elegant.