Recovery of a Modernist Building in the Eixample district of Barcelona for Residential Use
The renovation of the Casa Burés has been an important milestone for the city because it is an intervention that preserves the residential fabric, through a renewed look at the value of modern and traditional architecture. The interest of the renovation lies in the overlapping of a double condition: Heritage Rehabilitation and Housing Rehabilitation.
Casa Burés, built between 1900 and 1905 by Francesc Berenguer y Mestres, a close collaborator of Gaudí, has a total area of 7,700 m2 on six floors and is listed at Heritage Protection Level B (BCIL). The building, which originally housed large dwellings of great architectural, heritage and ornamental value, was in an advanced state of deterioration. The assignment consisted of recovering this icon of Catalan modernism and transforming it into a smaller residential building, adapted to contemporary requirements in terms of functionality, distribution and habitability.
If the rehabilitation of Architectural Heritage is already in itself a type of work marked by the conditions of conservation of the elements of heritage interest (Nolla pavements, polychrome ceilings, moldings, stained glass windows), when it also involves housing, the conditions of rehabilitation are more demanding due to compliance with the technical conditions required by the current normative regulations.
The fundamental aspects of the architectural intervention are as follows:
1º Maintenance of the vertical core of stairs and distribution corridors per floor.
2º Subdivision of the original dwellings from 3 units/floor to 6 units/floor, maintaining the cross ventilation through the interior courtyards.
3º Identification of the values of the architectural heritage and its compatibility with contemporary housing: Crowns of preservation of facades facing the street and inside the block and interior central strip for services and secondary program of housing.
Transformation of a historical and listed 19th Century building of Barcelona into 26 exclusive residences of the 21st Century with high-quality common areas, while preserving its original rich heritage.
Casa Burés was built between 1900 and 1905 by the Catalan architect Francesc Berenguer i Mestres, a close collaborator of Antoni Gaudí. The building was named after its first owner, Francesc Burés, a businessman with one of Spain's most successful textile companies. The building has 7.700 square meters distributed over six floors and is listed since 1979, enjoying the highest protection category as cultural heritage. The building was nearly abandoned for some years and some original elements were vandalized. After three years of a careful restoration work by the best artisans, Casa Burés has emerged as one of the most representative Modernist-style buildings in Barcelona. The modernist architectural and interior original elements were respected and restored because of both regulatory requirements and a high sensibility of all the stakeholders: developer, city authorities, project team, and the artisans and restoration experts involved in the works.
INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECT
The interior design project of Casa Burés had been carried out by Estudio Vilablanch and TDB Arquitectura, commissioned by Bonavista Developments. The challenge: transformation of a historical and listed 19th Century building of Barcelona into 26 exclusive residences of the 21st Century with high-quality common areas, while preserving its original rich heritage. The interior design project had two goals: to recover and highlight the building's original decorative elements, and to adapt the housing to contemporary regulatory and functional needs in terms of distribution, technology, safety, accessibility, comfort and community. There was a key and strict strategy: all the original architectural and decorative existing elements were restored, while new materials were added when needed. The new materials should not compete nor imitate the original ones.
The team defined three interior design concepts for this residential building matching the intrinsic qualities of each existing space: three lofts and the basement common areas recovered their original industrial character; two palatial residences were carefully restored respecting the existing modernist elements, and 21 flats were conceived as contemporary residences with rich original elements. The conceptualization included design and definition of materials and finishes(pavements, coatings, colors, kitchens, bathrooms, doors, lighting project, furniture, etc).
Lofts and common areas Interior design concept: recovering its original industrial character The ground floor and the basement were originally used for Burés textile industry. They did not have a modernist decoration, but a strong industrial personality. The new interior concept recovered this industrial character: big open spaces with high ceilings, concrete floors, iron columns and old brick walls were left uncovered, kitchens and furniture that strengthen the industrial character... The ground floor was transformed into three lofts and the basement into amenity areas for community use (a swimming pool, a spa, a gym, a cellar, an open kitchen, a terrace, spaces for social events…), recovering their original industrial aesthetics.
Palatial residences Interior design concept: respect and restoration of the existing elements
The original Burés palacelike residence, located on the main floor, was split into two 500 square meters magnificent flats. Being the richest floor in terms of decorative modernist elements, all of them were carefully restored into the noblest flats (mosaics and marquetry in pavements, stained-glass windows, frescoed walls and ceilings, wooden decorative elements, ceilings with reliefs…) The original elements were restored, while new materials were added when needed. The new materials and furniture pieces were equally refined but silent, not very ornate, light and with colors in harmony with the space, in order to highlight the valuable historic elements and not compete neither imitate them, facilitating a silent integration in the space.
Apartments & Attics Interior design concept: the contrast between new and old elements
Flats located in the upper floors, originally conceived for rent, were transformed into 16 apartments and 5 attics. These 21 residences combine strong original modernist spaces with more contemporary ones. The old elements were found in the spaces located in the crown of the building that faces the façade; these original elements were restored. In the interior areas of the flats, where the original elements didn't exist or couldn’t be preserved, the decision was to incorporate new materials that would allow the contrast between old and new ones: white color and oak wood were added as main elements in order not to compete, but to highlight and contrast the original decorative elements.
Winner: - Frame Awards 2020 (Amsterdam). Category: Co-Living Complex of the Year. - Archmarathon Selection 2019 Awards (Milan). Category: Private Housing Interior. - Premios Arquitectura Plus 2019 (Madrid). Category: Best Residential Interior Design. - Premis Catalunya Construcció 2019 (Barcelona). Special Mention. Category: Heritage Rehabilitation.
Finalist: - Créateurs Design Awards 2020 (Paris). Category: Best Residential Design. - 2019 Best of Year Awards (New York). Category: Residential Transformation. - Dezeen Awards 2019 (London). Category: Apartment interior.
Artisans and professionals involved in the restoration: Vitralls Bonet, Max Rudgers, Taller Salvador Escrivá, Rudi Ranesi, Taller ProArtis Conservació Restauració, Ebanistería Llorens, Abac Conservació i Restauració, Rom-Aplic, Jordi Pessarrodona, Ascensores Camprubí and Urcotex.
Coblonal has taken care of the interior design of this elegant and luxurious apartment in the Casa Burés in Barcelona. A unique building, emblem of Catalan Modernism of the early twentieth century, located in the dreta de l'Eixample in Barcelona and the work of Francesc Berenguer i Mestre.
Our proposal has tried to extol the own and original elements of the farm such as hydraulic pavement or high ceilings with floral moldings. The stately air of the estate is updated and concrete in the design and choice of furniture and accessories that give a modern and modern air to the whole.
The apartment has two double bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one of them en suite with the main bedroom, and a large living room with open kitchen that opens onto a representative interior gallery of the Eixample district of Barcelona.
Our proposal for the style line and the choice of fabrics and colors was based on the colors present in the pavement, as well as in the furniture. In the living room with open kitchen, gray and brown tones stand out. In the bedroom suite the blue and brown of the pavement reappears in the furniture, textiles and art pieces. In the second bedroom, the mustard tones of the pavement reappear in textiles and in the coloration of light and furniture.
We also highlight the pieces of furniture, cabinets and drawers, which Coblonal Interiorisme has designed and produced specifically for this project in oak wood and structure and handles in black varnished iron. These confer a vivid and industrial air, but at the same time delicate and comfortable.
The result is an interior design proposal that maintains the same stylistic line throughout the home while being elegant, timeless, vivid and modern.
Gallery 1. FLOS - Floor lamp - IC F1 brushed brass finish. 2. CARL HANSEN – Armchair - OW149 Colonial. 3. CARL HANSEN – Footrest - OW149F Colonial. 4. VIBIA - Wall lamps - Palma. 5. BOLIA - Bench and pillow - BerlinBench Small bench. 6. BOLIA – Pots - Totem, Podium and Rustico models. 7. KAVE HOME - Backing cabinet - Kesia.
Suite 1. BOLIA - Ceiling lamp - Balloon. 2. NORR11 - Armchair - Nomad. 3. KAVE HOME - Bed base with head - Venla. 4. COBLONAL - Closet - Made-to-measureof oak with iron structure. 5. COBLONAL - Drawer - Made-to-measureof oak with iron structure. 6. TRADITION - Bedside lamp - Journey SHY1 Wall & Table. 7. PAPIOL – Carpet - Satin polyamide. 8. ZARA HOME – Bedding - linen.
Room 1. KAVE HOME - Bed base with headboard - Venla. 2. KAVE HOME - Bedside tables - Chery. 3. BOLIA - Wall lamp - Leaves Wall. 4. NUURA - Wall lamp - Liila 1. 5. COBLONAL - Closet - Made-to-measure of oak with iron structure. 6. COBLONAL - Drawer - Made-to-measureof oak with iron structure. 7. NORTHERN LIGHTING - Floor lamp - Oslo Wood. 8. PAPIOL – Carpet - Satin. 9. ZARA HOME – Bedding - linen.
Hallway and Hallway 1. COBLONAL – Mirror - Custom made in black. 2. COBLONAL - Shelf and black plate - Custom made in oak wood. 3. COBLONAL - Coat rac - Custom made. 4. BOLIA - Wall lamp - Grape Wall lamp.
Suite Bathroom and Courtesy Bathroom 1. KAVE HOME - Bench - Kwango model