In the latest edition of the "bulthaup | the kitchen as a living space" award, the jury panel gave the first special mention to the "Full Renovation of a Home in the Eixample in Barcelona", a project presented by the Nicola Tremacoldi architecture studio –in collaboration with bulthaup Sant Cugat for the kitchen–, in acknowledgment of its ingenious transformation of several rooms in an apartment in Barcelona's Eixample district into a single open living space, merging the living and kitchen areas. The jury also highlighted the project's careful selection of materials and colors, perfectly attuned with the original cement floor tiling.
An intervention in a landmark building
Nicola Tremacoldi's renovation is in line with the urge to emphasize and preserve architectural heritage that we found in Sandra Soler's project -although in this instance, in an urban setting. The project involved refurbishing an apartment in the landmark pair of buildings known as Cases Armenteras i Parellada, designed from 1907 to 1909 by architect Calvet i Peyronill. As Tremacoldi states, "the challenge in this project was to update the layout in the apartment, turning into a single, open-plan day space, while acknowledging the compositional quality of the original architecture."
The aim was, therefore, to create a design in which the choice of materials and colors, as well as the treatment of the walls, would create a dialogue -not a competition-with the existing elements, among which the original Nolla stonework mosaic floor tiling was particularly appealing.
The timelessness of bulthaup b3
This effort is particularly evident in the kitchen, in which the physical traces of the wall separating the original rooms were preserved. "The choice of a bulthaup b3 kitchen was the logical consequence of the project's development," says Tremacoldi. It includes a line of built-in wall units for storage; another line of floor-standing units that houses the cooking and water points, set against the partition wall; and a kitchen island with a solid oak wood bar top that opens out to the transition area between the living room and the private spaces in the home. Its essential, timeless volumes, both elegant and weightless, allow for creating contrasts between the old and the new.
The magnificent mosaic floors guide the way through the spaces, while the kitchen, which opens onto the dining and living areas, becomes a light-filled haven for getting together and enjoying one another's company -a perfect example of harmony and dialogue between the present and the past.
Photographer: Jordi Miralles