From industrial workspace to an artful abode, the MESURA with its new project VASTO Gallery is blurring the lines between domesticity and art.
Barcelona's Poblenou neighborhood has a rich history as the city's industrial district. However, as de-industrialization took place in the 60s and 70s, vacant buildings became available, making way for a new creative hub. In this setting, a unique industrial space was found by a client who aimed to create a comfortable home that doubles as an art gallery.
The space features a single, generous and diaphanous area with windows on three of its walls and an open plan only interrupted by two rows of steel columns. Its peculiar ceiling reproduces the local construction techniques developed during the 19th century, introducing beams of equal strength reinforced by a ceramic core and a vaulted shape.
The project's primary objective was to maintain some of its original vagueness and blur the limits of the domestic sphere. The intervention recognizes the client's way of life by using spatial indetermination, transforming the industrial studio into a comfortable home that also acts as an art gallery.
To emphasize the space's lightness and fluidity, the floor plan is split into two areas: a private and public area, with the latter acting as a living room and exhibition space. These areas are divided by a service core built in wood, allowing one to perceive the space as a whole.
The living area is a flexible room with only two fixed pieces: an 8-meter-long stainless-steel kitchen counter and a long off-white table along the opposite wall. The rest of the room spans uninterrupted, allowing the exhibition space to adopt different configurations.
The private room follows the boundless premise of the project too, merging the bedroom and bathroom into a single unit. The bed, bathtub, and sink become loose elements within the room, while a shower, walk-in closet, and toilet are accommodated at the core.
The intervention encompasses two distinct actions: the restoration and enhancement of the existing qualities of the space through construction work, and the design of site-specific interior elements offering new capacities. These elements include a kitchen counter and long table uniquely designed for this project, as well as a handcrafted bathtub, shower, and sink for the private area.
As part of an ongoing collaboration with VASTO Gallery, designer Sara Regal worked on-site as part of a residency. During this process, she re-used a considerable amount of construction waste materials to create a large coffee table for the space. The project's interior design is thus reinterpreted as a constellation of unique objects detached from the apartment's limits, contrasting with the white-washed walls and light-wood furnishing to emerge as accents of color and form.
The site-specific interior elements and collaborations with artists and designers add a twist of uniqueness and contemporary identity to the space, making it a perfect example of modern living in an industrial context.