Territory / Ecosystem
The apartment is located in Reus, on the upper side of Passeig Sunyer, a very windy avenue, populated with high sycamore trees. Not so long ago, this wide avenue was unpaved, and often your eyes got filled with dust and myriad parts of sycamore fruit balls.
It is on an eighth floor. It is open to three orientations: south, east and west. Its height gives open and far views over most of el Camp territory, from la Mussara and Llaveria mountain ranges to the Mediterranean.
A big apartment for a retired couple. He is from Gosford, Australia. She was born in Reus. They have spent the last twenty-five years living six months in Catalonia, six months in Australia, moving from warm season to warm season. A few months ago they chose to relocate their summer abode in Reus, a counter-intuitive move in our area, where most people like to spend summers on the beach and winters in the town. They will spend winters in their apartment by the beach in Torredembarra.
They want an apartment with open, distant views. To live close to the sky: the cloudless blue, the starry nights. To gaze at the sunset. She is a big fan of blue.
They want an atmosphere that is both japanese and nordic.
After several months searching for the right place, they found a flat that occupies a whole floor. 225 square meters. An eighth floor. Three former apartments in one. Its inner layout is totally different from the three apartments above and the three below. This causes pillars and water pipes to appear all around the house, always in the middle of something, often in the worst possible spot.
The apartment had been abandoned for several years, there is rumours that in fact it was never inhabited. It was quite dark and closed within itself. For the same price as a fancy flat in the richest area of town, they decided to buy this one and embark on an intensive transformation.
The sky. The horizon. Clouds. Wind. Blue. Five-pointed stars. We might as well take these ideas as our plan´s building blocks.
Architecture: David Tapias, project director; Ricard Pau and Anna Castellà, project collaborators.
M/E: Josep M. Delmuns
Contractors: Josep Maria Miró (builders), Moix (Carpenter), Clim's (floor heating).
Existing services and structure that block potential open spaces:
The apartment walls, tiles, furniture and services were not it their best shape, so it was more economical to carry out a thorough renovation.
Plan / Search
The three facades give far views over most of el Camp territory. Almost a 360º perspective, only protected from the north. The inhabitants initial insistance about the importance of the sky was shocking for us at first. But as we kept on talking, it helped us realise that this habitat actually belongs to the sky, not to the soil.
This floor is totally different from the ones above and the ones below, so the apartment is crossed by concrete pillars and water pipes in the most inconvenient places. These are the two main restrictions we start working from. A continuous insulating membrane and new windows are introduced in order to drastically improve the energy exchanges with the outdoors.
A day in the life
José Hevia, July 2018