Clever Solutions: A Dry Cleaners Turned Family Home

Clever Solutions: A Dry Cleaners Turned Family Home

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Nancy Mitchell
May 19, 2015
(Image credit: Arch Daily)

In the universe of Spaces You Could Convert Into an Awesome Home (a church! a schoolhouse! a library! a morgue!), an old dry cleaners doesn't sound like a particularly appealing choice. But this dry cleaners in Barcelona turned (enviably fabulous) family home proves that anything is possible, with a little ingenuity.

The patio around which the new space is arranged.
(Image credit: Arch Daily)

The architects, in converting this old building into a home, faced a problem common to dense urban locations: a long, narrow lot with very narrow exposures at the ends to let light in. How to create a little privacy without creating a dense, claustrophobic warren of windowless rooms?

So the team (from Charles Enrich) came up with a clever and also kind of crazy solution: designing the whole house as one giant room. They tore down all the interior walls in the old space (revealing, in the process, the beautiful old stone walls, which were left exposed) and rebuilt the house as a single space. The only room in the whole house that's completely enclosed is the bathroom.

From the front of the house, looking past the two sleeping spaces to the living room and the patio.
(Image credit: Arch Daily)
The lofted bedroom.
(Image credit: Arch Daily)

The main living area has soaring ceilings and a wall of windows that looks out on the patio, around which the whole space is arranged. Behind that is a 'bedroom' for a little one, with a bedroom for adults lofted above. The openness of the house means that light flows through all the spaces, keeping everything nice and bright. Storage elements are arranged around the outside of the bedroom spaces, which helps to add a little visual separation.

The ground level (L) and the second level (R).
(Image credit: Arch Daily)

At the back of the lot is a studio, separate from the main house. The arrangement of all the spaces around the patio means that for most of the year the patio can function as an extension of the house — a lovely little oasis in the middle of the city.

To read more about the home and see more photos, check out Arch Daily.

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