Spanish firm TEd’A Aquitectes has recently refurbished an old flat located in the Gracia district of Barcelona, for Laia and Biel Huguet, owners of Mallorcan tile brand Huguet. TEd’A founders Irene Pérez and Jaume Mayol aimed to open up the interior of the apartment, so that light could penetrate the darker central space. The 65-square-meter interior is arranged across three consecutive rooms, with a view onto the street at one end of the apartment, and a view onto a central courtyard at the other.
The whole project is condensed in a single gesture that manages to visually connect the street and the interior courtyard, bringing both opposite and, until now, distant façades closer together. A single element is at the heart of this strategy. A new wardrobe crosses the entire house from one end to the other.
This new element organizes the space and physically and visually connects the entire floor from one end to the other. As a new and autonomous element, it is introduced into the house of Laia and Biel almost as a sculpture, independent and exempt from the perimeter that contains it. It is executed with a noble and warm material, that is voluntarily different from the white that characterizes the space that contains it.
The new pavement is organized as a carpet to support this new wardrobe. The history of this pavement has a memory, accepts its pre-existing conditions and proposes to transform them. The history of the new pavement could be understood as a palimpsest. There was, in a previous state, a pavement of 13x13cm clay tiles placed diagonally. Its condition was not very good, it was partially modified, there were many patches and different types of tiles, the result of overlapping alterations and modifications. “We decided to replace the pavement with a new one,” explains TEd’A. “We opted for a hydraulic pavement manufactured by Huguet.”
The new pavement has the same size, 13x13cm, like the existing one and is also laid diagonally. Its entire perimeter is taped, room by room, with special edge pieces that provide a good finish to the perimeter of the flooring. Special pieces are also made to obtain a longitudinal carpet to support the new wardrobe. But a tile floor is not just a tile floor, it’s a tile floor and the joint between them. And here the old clay tiles come back into play.
The existing tiles are cleaned and crushed to obtain an aggregate of about 5-8mm. This aggregate is used to make the joint between the new tiles. The joint is quite wide, 1cm thick, and is made with white mortar grout and reddish aggregate obtained from the clay tiles. The size of the crushed aggregate is suitable for the size of the joint. Afterwards, everything is polished, tile and join.
Thus, the intervention, from its most general lines to the most concrete details, is able to read and understand the place where it takes place, it is able to transform and manipulate it, in order to improve it and bring it further.