Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lovely Home

People often say that architects do in their homes what others don't allow them to do in their buildings. The Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill decided to buy an old cement factory and turn it into a home. Creative and intriguing. The building has a lot of character and the result is pretty good too.

One of the hardest things to do in such cases is turning the not so hospitable space into a cozy one. Most designers dream of high ceilings and huge windows and living in an industrial building but we need to realize this does have its psychological effects on us.
In this particular case the huge space is visually divided by the several rugs placed one after the other. This creates a rhythm and it is easier for our eyes to understand the unusually large spaces.

I love the different levels inside. This makes the space much more dynamic.

I believe this is one of the offices that are hosted inside the building. The size of the furniture is very well chosen and placed and you definitely won't feel like you are inside an empty haunted room. The only thing I would change is the fabric of the sofas. Because the floors are so shiny, placing a shiny leather couch on top of it does not make it stand out. And the windows, of course, are to die for!

Now this is I think the most problematic place. The room itself has got two rows of windows which is great because it adds the rhythm again. If you just look at the bottom part of the photo and hide the upper row of windows you have a nice spacious living room. Although I love those white curtains, I believe they are not at the right place because they hide the separate windows and create a feeling all of it is just one really tall wall from top to bottom. Besides, being really long and thin they make the ceilings appear even higher when they already are high enough.
Another thing I don't like here is the fitted carpet, which is the opposite of what was done with the smaller carpets. Do you see what I mean? The opposite wall appears much distant because we cannot break down the space and we understand it as one whole.
Besides, can you imagine having guests sitting on one sofa and you on the other? You must be talking really loud to hear each other and forget about having eye contact.

This is a nice detail - the white curtains and cushions, the bookcase, combined with the dramatic wall and windows. This would work even in a much smaller space (and I believe it might even work better)

The bathroom is lovely - lots of wood and comfort.

And finally the exterior which is stunning. I also love the very minimalistic front door. Minimalism works best with old buildings with lots of character.

I am not used to writing such detailed posts but I felt it might be interesting for you to hear my thoughts on this place. I think being critical and analyzing the reasons we like or dislike some interior design (or any design for that matter) is a very important aspect of our profession and definitely makes us understand design more.

I would love to hear your two cents on this place whether you agree or disagree with me. Having such discussions can only make us grow.

(Photos from here)

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