Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

 

Architects Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe have revived a 90’s relic attic apartment in the heart of Madrid. The revamp focused on increased storage and the addition of an extra room, with unexpected, unconventional use of sustainable materials.

In lieu of a corridor, contrasting bold shapes lead from one room to another. Two angular, freestanding columns in the living room form a symbolic entranceway. A semicircular ‘studiolo’ connects the living room and bedrooms, while a perpendicular space leads to the bathroom, each clad from floor to ceiling in orange-speckled black recycled rubber. The rubber almost camouflages the doors that open into the bedrooms and bathroom. The bathroom, wrapped entirely in sunny yellow tiles, enhances the orange spots amongst the black. The shape motif continues with a circular interior window that acts as a portal between either side of the apartment.

Two central walls divide the apartment into two halves, one with bedrooms and the other with kitchen-living rooms. These walls are clad with sheets of cork, the speckled texture mirroring the rubber, though with reversed light-to-dark tonality. Storage is hidden between the central walls, which also serves as sound insulation between the kitchen-living space and the bedrooms. The architects incorporated insulation to the interior walls, as well as a new floor that cools throughout summer and heats during winter, considerably reducing the occupants need for air conditioning or heating.

 

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

Composite Apartment in Madrid, Spain by Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe | Yellowtrace

 

Besides the bright yellow bathroom, natural cork, black rubber, and the pale orange living room columns provide the only tonal colour throughout the common areas of the apartment. Stark white surfaces lead all attention to direct toward the architects unconventional material choice and daring use of shape.

The architects looked to the cork oak forests of Southern Europe for sustainable inspiration, which led to their using cork panelling. Accounting for 55% of world cork production, the trees are stripped regularly, which encourages them to regenerate naturally. Stripped Cork oak has an impressive ability to absorb carbon dioxide, absorbing on average five times more than an un-stripped tree. It’s estimated that each year, the cork oak forests absorb up to 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – who knew!?

 

Related: Two Cork Houses in Palafrugell, Costa Brava by López Rivera Architects.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Gonzalo del Val, Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe. Photography by Asier Rua.]

 

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