To design a home for someone requires an understanding of their way of life and living conditions, as well as a vision for the future. Victoria and Estefanía, a young couple, along with their dog Duna, approached GON Architects with specific needs for their new home. They desired a spacious terrace, an open kitchen connected to the living room, a designated workspace, and ample storage for their extensive book and vinyl collection.
The initial meeting took place in their future home, located on the fourth floor of one of the 20 standalone 17-storey housing towers constructed in Madrid during the 1960s. These towers, designed by architects Antonio Camuñas Paredes and José Antonio Camuñas Solís, contribute to a unique urban landscape in the vibrant neighborhood of Canillas, where Victoria has spent her entire life.
The apartment’s elevated position provides a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, transforming it into a watchtower. The design takes into account the views, horizon, and treetops, creating a dwelling with a slightly square shape of 10×10 meters and 105 m2, facing west. Unlike the current layout with 12 rooms, the proposal aims to create a more open and flexible space that connects with the outside and natural light. The apartment is divided into two areas, public and private, to achieve this goal.
The central feature of the communal area is a white metallic bookcase. It has the capacity to store up to 500 books and is a striking vortex-like object that forms the heart of the apartment. The bookcase appears to be suspended between two exposed concrete pillars due to its cleverly concealed profile design. The books seem to float, creating a sense of lightness, while also serving to organize and structure the communal space. The space is used for various activities such as cooking, eating, resting, reading, and listening to music on the record player, all of which revolve around the bookcase.
A tall white wall stretches from floor to ceiling, acting as a boundary between the public and private areas. Within this wall, there are two hidden passages. One passage leads to a bedroom with an attached bathroom, while the other connects to a workspace that currently serves both individuals but can be converted into a bedroom in the future when their family expands.
To move from the public realm to the private realm, one must cross thresholds marked by yellow rectangular ceramic carpets. These transitional spaces, also found at the entrance of the residence, create an intermediate area that signifies the shift from one room to another. Additionally, ceramics are utilized in the areas dedicated to personal care, surrounding the back of the space with a terracotta hue to clearly define the boundaries of the shower.
The terrace, which is shaped like an L and faces west, serves as an outdoor space that connects the various areas of the apartment. Additionally, it creates a sense of the city being present within the apartment.