The allure of the old infused with the new could not be more pronounced in this studio retrofit of an aging printing press in downtown Barcelona. Minim Interior Architects subtly slipped modern elements into the rough brick plaster and concrete core to create a surprisingly light-filled and airy living space. The interior features a minimalist modern palette and a taste for antique furniture, daylight and honesty that reminded us of the Hotel Waterhouse in Shanghai
The renovation focused on creating contrast, so the building’s rough walls have been left almost completely untouched. The 1930’s arched opening with its original hardwood and wrought iron doors has been preserved as well, although it now leads into modern glass stair transition. The stark white kitchen helps illuminate the richly-textured brink and plaster walls. An old elevator shaft now serves as a light well, and skylights allow daylight to penetrate the interior and shine down through embedded glass in the floors to enhance the depth of the space.
The loft-like space radiates outwards from a central core, with conduits and pipes exposed. The result is a kind of refined casualness that illuminates adaptive reuse as a chic and environmentally-friendly form of design.