San Nicolas apartment by BABELstudio




Biderbost Photo




The project of San Nicolás, located in one of the most emblematic streets of the Old Quarter of Bilbao, is conceived to create a bright and flexible family home for a mother and her two young kids. The apartment is located on the top two floors of a residential building, originally consisting of a dwelling on the lower floor and a storage room on top floor. In addition to the peculiarity of having two storeys, another notable aspect of the found situation that caught our attention was the existence of a central interior courtyard onto which several rooms of the apartment overlooked and which was located in the heart of the floor plan.

Bearing in mind that the windows of the house overlooked this inner courtyard or the back of the building, and therefore had no views over the streets, it seemed essential to us to enhance the possibilities offered by the building to grow inside and give the space the visual amplitude that the openings in the façades denied us.

The main idea of the project has therefore been to expand the spaces by joining the various original rooms of the house, both in plan and in section, and also to create a continuous circulation around this central courtyard that would allow great flexibility of use for the family that was to inhabit the space. The principal concepts have been to grow in height by eliminating the forging of the storeroom by zones, and to redistribute the rooms on the ground floor by merging several spaces to achieve a continuous circulation between uses around the courtyard.

By that intervention, kitchen, living room, children’s room and adjoined study area are placed on the first floor, surrounding the courtyard, while the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom is located in the most private zone. The open spaces on the attic floor are designed as extensions for the children’s room and retreat area of the living room.
Regarding the materials used, a clear and simple image has been sought to highlight the potential of the original structure. Pure lines and neutral colors are used to amplify the light and emphasise the spaciousness of the rooms.

Text provided by Architect

THE TREE MAG – The Fruits of Ideas