Wood Snake, a whole apartment in a closet


“A small apartment seems even smaller if very compartmentalised”. This was the premise followed by the Spanish architecture studio Arenas Basabe Palacios to address the project of Wood Snake. A refurbishment and transformation project of an ancient apartment located in the neighbourhood of El Retiro in Madrid.


The first intervention strategy was to undress the apartment. This means tearing every existing partition wall down in order to generate a unique space: a neutral and diaphanous room that enhances the feeling of amplitude and natural lightning.


Once the apartment was free of all divisions, it was dressed again; this time through a unitary and compositional action. A continuous closet, of more than 20 meters long, wrap the space while qualifying it. A multifunctional piece designed to optimize the space and gain flexibility without losing comfort.

Wood Snake wraps all the apartment with a continuous programatic wooden closet

This solution turns the walls into active walls that hide behind them all the functional, programmatic and conditioning elements. Therefore, besides being a flexible and diverse storage system, the closet enclose the bed, seating, the bathroom with a dressing room, heating and cooling systems as well as windows and alcoves to sit and rest.

Materialized in birch wood, this furnishing solution manages to homogenize the interior space as well as to generate a warm and comfortable ambiance. Furthermore, the central cabin -containing the bathroom and the dressing room,-acts, at the same time, as natural divisor of ambiances. Thanks to its situation in Wood Snake, it succeeds in maintaining privacy between the dining area and the sleeping zone without the need for any partition.


Wood Snake results in a much wider, brighter and flexible that allows both a multiplicity of simultaneous uses and the total liberation of the space for a family dinner or a party with friends. The furnishing unit offers a great versatility that turns the dwelling into a changing device able to be configured and adapted to the users’ needs in every moment along time.

Photos by Luis Díaz Díaz