The Spectacular Conversion: From Dairy Shed to Home

Megan Harris Megan Harris
lluiscorbellajordi Modern living room
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Today we look at a project which will surely pike your interest. First try to imagine an old dairy shed in Gracia, the most popular district of Barcelona. A dilapidated and unused building, suitable only for the housing  of cattle. The passage of time which saw the city flourish around it, wore away at this strong functional structure, leaving it shabby and in need of repair. This is the space that Lluis Corbella took on, in collaboration with Marc Mazeres. The goal was to transform the hard, rough building into a spectacular living space. And transform it they did.

The aim was to strip the inside of the impressive structure, preserving only the facades and roof. Thus the character of this remarkable, metropolitan dairy shed could be retained, whilst opening up a tremendous space for reworking. What followed is breathtaking: a raw, yet sophisticated and welcoming home with a luxurious courtyard. A series of thoughtful spaces, communicate wonderfully with each other across the various levels. But don’t take my word for it… take a look!

The worn origins

First let’s take a quick look at the projects humble beginnings. The designers were confronted with a state of dilapidation. The inevitable passage of time had taken a punishing toll on this once thriving space of industry. When peering into this room one sees a structure, abandoned; dampness creeping in through its worn surfaces. The building has only its solid materials to thank for its survival. Labeling it a renovation feels like an understatement, when considering its beginnings. With this context, lets take a look at the magnificent interior they crafted.

The central cavity

In the foreground of this picture we see the living room, but beyond we are given a small peak into much of the rest of the home. Both levels, the kitchen, dining room and even a portion of the garage are visible from a single vantage point. This stunning modern design, embraces light and shade simultaneously to create varied ambiances.  Brick columns and exposed beams show the desire of the architects to respect the buildings origins; the striking industrial aesthetic is offset with a homely quality. For more living room inspiration, take a look at these examples!

Into the kitchen

From the kitchen, at the opposite end of the room, one is able to appreciate other details. The metal and white plastic table and chairs sit sharply atop the beautifully, unforgiving concrete floor which lends further to the industrial feel.  The lowered ceiling which defines the space,  is lined with reflective aluminium. This detail, which is only noticeable once in the room, gives the truncated space a unique character. These, along with a series of other elements, give a modern, functional and inviting look to what was once a cold space.

The book lined corridor

This beautiful, booked lined corridor sits on the second floor of the home, running above the living space. From here we get a closer look at the rugged yet sophisticated brick supports and wooden beams, sitting in stark contrast to the hard lines of the bright white walls. The space is thoughtfully used as a library: the books find a home in this transitional space instead of being hidden away in another room. Throughout the design functionality and aesthetics come together seamlessly. For more creative corridor ideas, take a look here

A space of retreat

From the wide open, expanse of the living spaces, we now step into this delightful and striking private space. One feels cosy and comfortable just looking at it! Continuity in aesthetic, through the brick on white contrast and aluminium ceiling, allow for a natural transition into this otherwise vastly different room. The eye is first drawn to the stunning bath tub, encased in a completely transparent glass cube. This intriguing feature is complemented by subtle and personal decoration. No bold colours are seen in this calm and peaceful room with a simple and elegant bed, paired back cabinets and a few framed pictures. What a wonderful space to both start and finish your days.

A final luxury

As if the tremendous indoor living spaces weren’t enough, we finish our tour of this wonderful home with a luxurious courtyard! Once again the space is large, but simple. An array of plants sit atop the concrete and wooden surfaces, breathing a touch of nature into the homely, yet industrial space. The appropriate use of the words ‘homely’ and ‘industrial’ in a single sentence is an ode to what has been achieved in this grand renovation. What more could one ask for? A pool, you say? Well it’s got one of those too, though we only get to see a sliver. 

For a slightly more colourful Barcelona renovation, take a look through A Home Away From Home.


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