The Versatile Apartment
Singapore Tatler Homes|October - November 2019.
This versatile apartment functions as an art venue as well as a lofty home that celebrates its industrial roots
Hong Xinying

With a five-metre ceiling height and a spacious yet cosy open-plan layout, there is much to love about this apartment. This home is located in Barcelona’s Poblenou neighbourhood, a former factory district that has seen an urban revival in the past two decades. Once known as the “Catalan Manchester”, Poblenou is becoming the creative heart of the city; it’s also celebrated for its proximity to Bogatell Beach and the up-and-coming 22@ technology district, as well as landmarks such as the Barcelona Design Museum and the Agbar Tower.

The owners wanted to pay tribute to the apartment’s industrial beginnings by preserving some of its original architectural elements, while conveying a sense of lightness and warmth. They tasked Barcelona-based practice The Room Studio to transform the property into a flexible, multi-purpose space that could function as a gallery for art exhibitions and a pied-à-terre for the homeowners whenever they visit the city.

“The project itself was a challenge; we had to shape the space and make it warm and with an industrial touch,” say Meritxell Ribé and Josep Puigdomènech, creative directors of The Room Studio. “The owners wanted to keep the natural materials and their imperfections; in addition, they had the idea of allocating spaces both for living in and for holding events and exhibitions related to the art world. For this, a very versatile space was created to be capable of covering different uses.”

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