Duplex Tibbaut, Barcelona

Designed by: Raul Sanchez architects
For client: Diana Tibbaut Floor area: 105.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Large Apartment of the Year

Public Score
4.93 Function
5.02 Innovation
5.04 Creativity
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© José Hevia

The BKF chairs and the Nani Marquina rug, with its explosion of color, are a perfect counterpoint to the serene interior. Furniture is arranged following the symmetry axis imposed by the golden volumes.

About the Project

Starting from two independent and neglected dwellings, the client's requirement was to concentrate the main living spaces on the mezzanine and expand them on the ground floor with other more flexible spaces.
The proposal is direct: amid the space, insert two 2-meter side squares rotated 45º over the dominant axis, their vertices overlapping, extruded through both floors. A resounding arrangement in which two ideal shapes are imposed on the existing irregularity and arrange all the floor space with no need for any other means. One of the squares will hold the stairs, and the other will house the bedroom on the upper floor and the toilet/office spaces on the ground floor. The very rotation of these squares results in the specialization of the space around it without needing any additional enclosures, since the new volumes, as they approach and move away from the perimeter walls, define these areas.
The proposal's emphasis runs parallel to the sought-after inner spatial complexity and a firm intention to underplay the different areas and circulation.
The treatment of colors and materials highlights the extruded volumes, coated in glossy, gold finish paint mixed with gold powder, surrounded by white cladding coating the existing walls, while the inside of the volumes is black.
On the ground floor, three existing paintings of Brazilian origin were preserved: they are the reason the client, of Brazilian origin, decided to buy these properties and undertake the project.

What’s unique about it

This project departs from a very abstract and geometric conception, from a very strong idea driven by just the abstraction, and, step by step, this very pure and intangible concept goes on translating into construction, structure, space, matter and light. That is, for me, architecture, the link between humanism and technique, between the world of ideas and the world of physicality.
The strength of this project is just to maintain the very power of the starting idea through its translation into a built thing, to keep the equilibium between humanism and technique until its very last stage.
It starts with two perfect squares rotated 45 degrees, their vertices overlapping, and even the most trivial detail obeys that principle...so even the downlights, or the door knobs, are rotated 45 degrees; even the material and color code always matches the nature of the element where it is applied, whether existing or new, either inside the squares or outside.
And even when the idea is bold and direct, the final layout complexity creates a rich interior experience. As an example: the stairs are enclosed in one of the volumes, and their spiral pattern aims to disorient and conceal to surprise at the landings, and for the same purpose, there are multiple axes of symmetry that double up circulation and enhance the spatial experience.

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© José Hevia

The spiral stair is all black. It has no visibility with anything out of the cube. It is intended to be a world on its own

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© José Hevia

Different utilities are installed in the ground floor, to allow this floor to work as an artist studio, a living room, a guest room...

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© José Hevia

There is a constant play with the existing and the new: the mezzanine floor slab was heavily reinforced, so it is considered a 'new addition'. And thus, it does not touch the existing facade wall: a narrow pane of glass allows this wall to be read in all

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© José Hevia

The bed space is dug in one of the volumes. Everything 'excavated' in the cubes is black: in this case, the bed space is cladded with black painted OSB wood panels. In the left side, the bathroom, illuminated through the translucent glass which splits it

Duplextibbaut Axonometry
© José Hevia

exploded axonometry which shows how everything is arranged around the two extruded squares.

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© José Hevia

The three existing paintings are seen on the background: they are discovered in the landing of the stair. This floor in intended to be used as a studio or artist space, or as the living room.

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© José Hevia

The rotated cubes are golden, while everything around them is white

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© José Hevia

once reaching the ground floor, one is placed under the void, and it is them when one realizes that both floors are arranged in the same way, that the two volumes extrude through both floors

Duplextibbaut 01
© José Hevia

The dinning room and the kitchen are placed in the mezzanine. The presence of the golden volumes is visible everywhere. A void following the lines of the volumes connect both floors. On the right side, behind the glass, the bathroom: its boundary replica

Location of project:
Raul Sanchez architects

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