Architecture studio Bonell+Dòriga has renewed an apartment in Ricardo Bofill’s Walden 7 in Barcelona, adding colourful geometric elements into the interior that reference the building’s facade. Located just outside of Barcelona in the town of Sant Just Desvern, Walden 7 is a residential block designed by Spanish architect Ricard Bofill. It was constructed in 1975 and comprises 18 stepped, rust-red towers that are arranged around four teal-blue courtyards.
Barcelona-based Bonell+Dòriga was approached to renovate one of the 446 apartments inside the building, which the studio says is enjoying a renaissance. Four modules developed in two floors define this dwelling situated in the levels 12th and 13th of the building. The ground floor is transformed into a large open space, while the bedrooms are placed in the first floor. In this project, however, it is more important to talk about context and about language, than it is to discuss the configuration of its spaces.
Located in the central part of the complex, its belonging to the building is practically inescapable, even in its interior. Every one of the apartment’s windows frames fragments of Walden-7. Light comes in shaded in turquoise in the northern rooms, more reddish in the south.
“In this context, it was essential that our intervention established a connection with the rich fabric of Bofill’s architecture, but without trying to mimic it,” explains the studio.
The project introduces flashes of colors from the outside in brick red, dark blue, and sand. The topographies that Bofill envisioned for the interior of the apartments, but which were rarely built, are re-thought and adapted to the needs of the new owners and future users, with wide benches that turn into sofas, that end up connecting with the existing staircase, which is kept in its upper steps, only painted. The stepped geometry appears in the laying of the two-toned tiles in the bathrooms. And the circle shape, so ubiquitous in the configuration of the building and its morphology, materializes in various ways: the red step, the lights, the arched divisions, or the mirrors.