La Dominique, an attic refurbishment with volumetric richness

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la-dominique-arquitectura-ras-studio-more-with-less-10Developed by the Spanish architecture studio RÄS, La Dominique is the reconversion and renovation project for an ancient apartment located in Barcelona. A refurbishment that makes the most out of the existent space and where the traditional architecture co-lives with a dwelling modern design.

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Once the work began and the ancient apartment was stripped, it was a surprise to find a gable roof hidden behind a false ceiling. Despite the limited surface of the apartment, this inside geometry opens up a lot of volumetric possibilities thanks to the double-height it presents.

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The main project strategy was to build an intermediate slab in the central area of the plan. By doing so, it is achieved, on one hand, to fragment the volume into two levels playing with a gradient of heights and, on the other hand, to generate two different scales inside the apartment.

La Dominique plays with the attic geometry and volume to create a great spatial richness within a limited surface

The space generated under the new platform remains confined in a very human scale, of 2’2m height, that formalises the entrance to the dwelling and houses the humid programme of kitchen and bathroom. On the other hand, the main rooms are opened to the façade and present a double height with the gable roof uncovered. As the bedroom is located at the second floor, it appears as a more intimate space despite not having any door or close up.

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Placing value on traditional techniques, the new slab of La Dominique is made as a classic Catalan vaulted ceiling; a characteristic element that refers us to the traditional architecture of Barcelona and gives us a sense of comfort. In contrast with the ceramic colour of this ceiling, the rest of the apartment is finished in black and white. The black colour is used to identify certain elements confined in the central lower-height space, such as the staircase and the kitchen, as well as for the flooring. On the contrary, the rest of the dwelling is finished in neutral white. A colour that homogenises different textures and enhances the sense of spaciousness and natural light in the attic.

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All images courtesy of RÄS

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