Receiving first place in the interior design category at the 2021 edition of the Tile of Spain Awards is “Living in a Coderch”. This stunning residential restoration project performed by Estudio Vilablanch brought new life to a home first crafted by master architect, José Antonio Coderch.
Built in 1973, the original dwelling designed by Coderch was constructed on a plot of land in suburban Barcelona, Spain, as part of a 6-block multi-family community. Once completed, this new development offered the surrounding neighborhood a striking set of architectural and landscape design features including large planters flowing with lush greenery, facades covered by ceramic tiles arranged in a vertical pattern and floor-to-ceiling windows cleverly placed in the corners of each residential unit.
For their project, Estudio Vilablanch was commissioned to renovate one of the residences in the community, by the new homeowners. The client’s wish was to transform the interior into a contemporary home for a family with children, under a very clear premise: to recover the essence of the Coderch project.
In order to preserve the home’s authentic style, the design team sought after the original plans at the city’s historical archives. The final design proposal was then organized after careful study and understanding of the primary plans of the entire community:
According to the first set of blueprints, each building in the development contained two identical houses, separated by a covered breezeway, with each unit divided into three distinct sections: an open communal living space, a secluded section for bed and bathrooms and an area for daily domestic activities.
The reform suggested the same layout as the initial floor plan. The main living space was conceived as an open concept family room enhanced by the home’s terraces and expansive windows. Spatial connection was established with the remaining interior segments with the help of sliding wood doors. This practical design decision was made to keep the various rooms fully connected while providing privacy when needed.
With the internal architectural plan in place, a clean and modern foundation was formed for the Estudio Vilablanch team to begin arranging the interior aesthetics. Most of the original carpentry work surrounding the windows, doorways hallways and cabinetry was restored and a calm neutral color palette was selected to play with the abundant natural light, both, in turn, created a warm and welcoming environment throughout the home.
The homeowners then made a special request to invite pops of color into the design. With careful consideration to detail, the Estudio Vilablanch team selected ceramic tiles to bring in a touch of vibrancy. Rectangular pieces whose format reflected the pressed ceramics adorning the exterior facade were deliberately chosen. Estudio Vilablanch opted for four magnifying shades to enhance the home: deep green for the kitchen, a muted mint for the primary suite and rich yellow and blue hues to decorate the children’s quarters.
This advanced level of attention to design and details is what earned Estudio Vilablanch and “Living in a Coderch” a prestigious Tile of Spain Award. The jury praised the project for its rigorous exercise in interior design, in keeping with the spirit of José Antonio Coderch’s architecture, while highlighting the concept of permanence as a common denominator. They also emphasized the skillful choice of materials and meticulous care with which the design project was put into practice.