Casa en una Maleta

Rehabilitation of the street façade of a XIXC building in the Barcelona Grid, and conversion of the old communitarian laundry into a penthouse.

The clients, a couple from the island of Mallorca, come to Barcelona once or twice a month for a couple of days. In our first talks they explained to us that in the last house they had in Barcelona, they used to cover all the furniture with blankets to protect them from the dust. The way they described this chore of taking off all the blankets and getting the house back to life again sounded like a tedious task. From their description we started thinking that the project was going to be about a temporal home, somewhere between a hotel room and a house.

The issue of keeping furniture from being covered with dust was one of the main concerns when we started designing the apartment, so, for all the things you can need during the day, we created a piece of furniture that can be opened. This process occurs gradually throughout the day, as you need the furniture to help you with certain activities: cooking, a table to eat or read, the bed, a table to leave your reading books at night…

The room remains closed and empty most of the time and a skylight permanently lights its interior. It is as long as the whole plan. When the owners arrive, at any moment, after several days of absence, the natural light welcomes them in, showing the whole room, ready to be used.

In each trip one takes a minimum of belongings; in this apartment, the reduced space does not allow the accumulation of objects. When the owners arrive with minimum luggage, everything they need is waiting for them inside two big trunks, which look like the suitcases used for long trips in the past. When the owners have arrived at their destination, these trunks turn into a piece of furniture that contains all that is needed.

The project investigates minimum space in our daily activities; the pieces of furniture open according to each moment of the day. Thus, the unique space of the room 9x3x3 metres varies in size and use during the everyday activities. These two big packages are the ones that put the inhabitants in relationship with the space of the room. When they open them, they guess why they have such size: in their different parts, hidden uses appear and fragment the big unique space into smaller spaces of human scale. Thus, in each stay the signs of temporal occupation will be different, depending on the hand luggage brought (mobile), and on the trunks (fixed) that shape the room, which will open more or less according to the needs of use.

Programme: Rehabilitation of the street façade of a XIXC building in the Barcelona Grid, and conversion of the old communitarian laundry into a penthouse.
Promoter: Mr and Ms. Alabern.
Architects: Eva Prats, Se Duch, Ricardo Flores.
Carpenter: Carpintería Rius, Esparraguera.
Drawings: Eva Prats, Ricardo Flores.
Models: Frank Stahl.
Photographs: Eugeni Pons.
Situation: 120 Bruc Street, Barcelona.
Area: 27 m_
Budget: 60.101 €
Date of the Project: 1996
Date of Construction: 1997
> Project Film (flash movie)
uno de los primeros bailes de viaje de louis vuitton atic dibujo film total recorte 1 film recorte 2 film recorte 3 film vista general con muebles abiertos vista general con muebles cerrados maqueta
vista desde el ingreso mueble cama cerrado mueble cama abierto workshop detail in workshop detail
you can see this and other project films in
Flores Prats studio