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Redefining Domestic Space: A Radical Apartment Renovation

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

‘My ideal house exists’. This was what Alex, the owner of this 46 m2 home near the busy Callao Square in Madrid, thought the first time he entered the apartment he bought in 2006 to live alone. Fifteen years later, with a more settled and stable life, focused on journalism and an interest in reading and design, Alex’s vital needs had changed, and with them his way of inhabiting the domestic space. That is when he called Gon Architects with the desire to carry out a radical renovation of his apartment, adapted to his present reality.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

After fifteen years, Alex’s life had become more settled and stable, with a focus on journalism and a newfound interest in reading and design. As a result, his needs had evolved, leading him to reconsider how he inhabited his living space. With this in mind, he reached out to the Gon team with a desire to completely renovate his apartment, ensuring it was tailored to his present reality.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

The concept behind Menta is the creation of five interconnected rooms, each with its own unique purpose and size. These rooms adhere to a traditional domestic layout, unfolding in a sequential manner from the street towards the interior of the house. The sequence of spaces includes a living room, kitchen/dining room, entrance hall, and a bedroom with an attached bathroom.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

A double translucent polycarbonate sliding door separates the kitchen and living room, providing both visual and spatial flexibility to the house. This mechanism allows for the physical independence of each space, while also offering varying degrees of privacy when required. Additionally, one of the side walls leading to the next room is adorned with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, altering the visual perception of the space.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

To optimize functionality, all the rooms are equipped with a modular storage system that is affixed to at least one wall. This system spans from floor to ceiling and offers a range of inner dimensions to accommodate various items such as books, appliances, magazines, clothing, and Alex’s beloved design objects. By employing this spatial strategy, the rest of the room is freed up for specific furniture pieces, where activities such as reading, resting, eating, working, and sleeping can take place.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

The organization of each module, both interior and exterior, is customized for every room based on the client’s storage requirements. The kitchen-dining and living room modules are constructed using niche wooden boards with doors in various finishes, such as birch laminate or mint green paint, inspired by Prada’s signature color in European stores since the 90s.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

The house, named “menta” after the plant, integrates different functionalities within the same element. Mirrored doors are used for the entrance and bedroom wardrobes, creating abstract and unexpected reflections that expand the space. The entrance module conceals a hidden entrance to the private area. Concealed behind a wooden door at the house’s end is the bathroom, designed to resemble the interior of a cave with dark anthracite-colored tiles, providing an intimate and tranquil atmosphere. This space serves as a serene retreat from the city’s noise and activity.

Menta Apartment, Madrid, ES / Gon Architects

Designing a lifelong home is a challenging task, as there is no standard user or ideal prototype. Instead, the goal is to create a perfect living space for a specific individual at a particular stage in their life. Alex resides in a house that suits his current needs, offering flexibility and adaptability to his evolving lifestyle. Whether alone or with company, he finds joy in various domestic activities, from cooking with a glass of wine to relaxing on the sofa while observing the vibrant Gran Vía street life through the open window.