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From architectural traditions to savings: rough reforms or why you see “unfinished” interiors everywhere

A few weeks ago, a tweet from architect and communicator Luis Lópe de Toledo made us aware of a trend in architecture and decoration that is actually everywhere.

Lopez’s tweet was about an unconventional home renovation in Barcelona. The photos that accompanied the post showed an open space with a bare interior, bare walls, an old tiled floor with large chunks of cement, exposed cables and pipes, and a room made of wood literally planted one meter into the center of the house. Above the ground, it rested on the legs and the insulation of which was visible. “I don’t know if I think it’s genius or a complete pot trip,” said the architect.

The pictures surprised us and made us realize that this was actually not the first such space we had seen. Perhaps they are not so common (or so visible) in homes, but in most large Spanish cities there are commercial or hospitality buildings that more or less also decorate according to the unfinished interior aesthetic or “raw”.

To learn a little more about this trend and this reform in particular, we decided to talk to Lope and find out who was behind the work that started it all.

10,000 euro house case

We soon discovered that the project was called 10 thousand houses and was implemented by the Barcelona Architecture and Design Studio TAKK, founded by Mireia Luzarraga and Alejandro Muinho. A quick overview of the latest projects they have undertaken, Like this installation you can currently visit Palau Robert in BarcelonaIt already gives us an idea that we are not dealing with a very ordinary office.

“In our research, we try to do a very speculative work, in the sense that we try to explore a possible desired future through architecture, we try to make it a catalyst agent for the generation of more just societies, following a thoughtful contemporary critic, feminism or feminism.” Ecology,” explains Mireya.

About the origin of the project10 thousand housesThe architect says that although his work is exhibited on a more speculative level in cultural institutions, museums or biennales, some time ago the studio was commissioned to reform an apartment in Madrid, in which, as in the rest of his work, they also reflected on interior space and sustainability.

“After some time, a guy came to our office who saw this reform and attended a conference about our work at the university and told us very honestly that he had just bought a very cheap apartment very cheaply in Barcelona, ​​which you would like to renovate,” recalls Mireia.

“The problem was that after the purchase costs, he only had €10,000 in the bank (he brought us a statement to prove this). Normally with this money you can remodel the bathroom and, with great difficulty, the kitchen, paint, etc., but we thought: what if we do a priority exercise? What if we could, with these limited resources, afford things that are only available to people with much bigger budgets? We said, yes, that’s great. We found it a very interesting challenge to see what we could do.”

Leaving the finishes raw can be seen as a statement of authenticity, a manifesto showing the construction processes and revealing the history of the building.

Luis Lope de Toledo
Architect and promotion

“Unfinished” interior fashion

But is there really a propensity for not finishing? For Luis Lope de Toledo, who recently published Temas de Hoy in the editorial Architecture Around the House: A Book to Understand and Enjoy the Only Art You Live, Eat, and Sleep InThe book he intends to make us enjoy architecture more,” this trend raw material or primitive drinks from many earlier accounts. One of them is the so-called industrial style, which emerged in the 50s in New York, where old abandoned factories were adapted to function as artists’ homes and workshops; but also from the modern movement or Brutalism, which used reinforced concrete and left surfaces without insulation or decorative finishes. There is also a clear economic advantage.”

For Mireya, this fashion would also be related to the economic crisis of 2008. “After the housing bubble, architects started working on projects they weren’t interested in before, such as interior renovations,” he said. explains. This foray of architects into interior design has led to a change in trends as they promote their opinion. After thinking for a while, Mireya points out three reasons that could be at the root of this trend.

The first will be to preserve the properties of the materials. For example, leaving the brick exposed makes it retain its thermal properties. “As a porous material, brick performs very well thermally. Once you put plastic paint on it, it stops working,” he adds.

Secondly, leaving the walls crumpled or with remnants of old wallpaper, for example, is a way to provide a slightly romantic view of traces of the past. “The architecture itself will thus explain a series of things related to the memory of all the events that historically took place in this building.” That in itself has more value than seeing a white wall,” confirms Mireya.

For example, an architect cites work he has done Flores & Prats studio in Sala Becket, BarcelonaA theater located in an old industrial building in the neighborhood of Poblenou.

Lope agrees: “Leaving the finish raw can be seen as a declaration of authenticity, a manifesto showing the construction processes and revealing the history and tradition of the building. Preserving traces of what already exists,” he explains.

As a third and final reason, the founder of TAKK points to the intention to make visible what the architect of the reform has done. “For example, you put a green beam to show it’s new and the rest stays as is,” he says.

Recently, this type of reform has become synonymous coolalmost mainstream. “In any interior design today Hipster You can find this type of aesthetic from Madrid or Barcelona. But there is always an economic issue,” he explains. “In our case, the fact of leaving the walls in this way responds to a purely monetary motive. Since we only had 10,000 euros, we had to choose. We ask ourselves: what do we want, to continue living as we have always lived in this type of small, dark and poorly ventilated housing, but with very white walls, or to try to include things that do not normally exist in this type of housing. Because of its size and tough nature? Instead of covering materials, why not make a kitchen with street views? Or why not put the bathroom near the window? Or a much bigger room than you had before?

In our case, leaving the walls like this responds to a purely monetary motive. Since we only had 10,000 euros, we had to choose

Mireia Luzarraga
Architect and co-creator of the 10k project

After the initial strangeness of the project 10 thousand houses According to Mireya, it makes much more sense. “This house is made for the owner. Enjoy much more space, you can cook or wash while looking out onto the street, something very few people have access to, especially in an apartment with these features. Enjoy cross-ventilation and a space configured with temperature gradients, meaning the temperature changes according to the needs of the room, as well as using healthier materials with stain-free acrylic… not only are they different, but they are. Much more is implied by the ecological footprint and impact that construction has on the planet.” Another thing is taste.

Source: El Diario





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