Commissioned by a Barcelona-based gallerist to transform a former industrial space into a gallery space that doubles as a home, local architecture and design studio MESURA applied a no-nonsense aesthetic of minimalist sophistication that enhances the property’s architectural qualities, namely the bountiful natural light, open-plan layout and structural distinctiveness. In order to keep interventions to a minimum, the Studio embraced a sculptural vocabulary of detached cubic volumes inspired by artist Donald Judd’s three-dimensional work and non-hierarchical approach to art, design and architecture. The result is a constellation of larger and smaller objects that discreetly delineate a flexible living area and a smaller private zone without sacrificing the property’s inherent lightness and fluidity. Combined with a muted colour palette and a design-led curation of bespoke and modernist furniture, CASA VASTO's spatial poetics confidently walk the line between an art gallery and a domestic haven.
The gallery is located in one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods, Poblenou, a former industrial area turned creative hub, home to tech offices, creative studios and design showrooms. Housed in a converted factory, the property’s greatest asset is its structural configuration: two rows of slender steel columns that support a ribbed ceiling structure, an unusual building feature whose vaulted form imitates local 19th-century architect Joan Torras’ construction techniques.
In order to allow the entirety of the space to be perceptible, MESURA have done away with any type of full-height partition, introducing instead a rectilinear volume, carefully inserted in-between the columns. Housing a shower, walk-in closet and toilet, the free-standing, timber-clad core separates the public area from the private quarters without disrupting the rhythmic continuity of the vaulted ceiling.
The timber core is complemented by a series of other free-standing monolithic elements that blur the line between furniture and sculpture in line with the project’s dual gallery-home identity. An 8-meter-long stainless-steel kitchen counter and a monumental off-white table along the opposite wall, both custom-designed by MESURA, are the only fixed furnishings in the living-cum-exhibition area allowing the space to be easily reconfigured.
A selection of contemporary pieces such as a Living Divani Extrasoft sofa, a B&B Italia Camaleonda sofa chair and ottoman, and a series of bright-blue stools by Max Enrich, echo MESURA’s boxy, sculptural design language while a bespoke coffee table designed by resident artist Sara Regal made out of waste materials from the construction process, further underlines the project’s interplay of art and design.
Espousing the same design principles as the main living area, the open-plan private zone is anchored by three free-standing, cubic elements, a bathtub, a sink and a bed, the latter featuring a wood-clad boxy headboard. Tying everything together, a colour palette of white and light grey tones both enhances the natural light streaming in from the large windows along three sides, and creates a neutral backdrop for the artworks on display.