DG Arquitecto designed the rehabilitation of a building with 11 homes in El Grao, Valencia. Bringing life back to an early 20th-century building located very close to the Mediterranean Sea is the great challenge the team faced in this rehabilitation.

-text by the authors

Three major actions are performed during the rehabilitation process of the building. Firstly, an intervention is carried out on the structure, consisting of the reinforcement of slabs and pillars to stabilize the building. Secondly, an energy improvement of the building envelope is made, which helps to ensure that the resulting houses meet current energy efficiency standards. Finally, accessibility to the dwellings was improved by modifying the building structure to incorporate an elevator.

The building consists of 11 homes, two on the first floor, each of which has a small interior patio, 8 standard homes of approximately 50 square meters, which despite their small size, are composed of a generous kitchen-dining room, three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a gallery. On the top floor, there is a small studio apartment with a large terrace from which the future inhabitants can enjoy the sun and sea views.

Three materials and one color help to define the character of both the interiors of the apartments and the common areas of the building. Terrazzo, which the team designed themelves, consisting of a light, almost white base and small micrograms of black marble, is the material chosen as flooring for the common areas, stairs, hallway, and landings, as well as for the interior of the apartments. The use of a single material provides continuity between all the spaces of the building.

Wood helps to define the main space inside the houses. The kitchen, the living room furniture, and the large pivoting door that separates the day and night areas of the homes, are made of oak wood. The 10 x 10 blue-gray ceramic tiles delimit the wet areas of the dwellings.

Finally, the team would like to talk about the grayish blue color used throughout the intervention, as a reminder of the Mediterranean Sea so close and so present in the  city. The blue color serves as a common thread of all the spaces of the building, it marks the access in the entrance hall of the building and accompanies the inhabitants through the elevator to all the apartments where welcomes when they enter.


Credits & Details

Project title: Building Arq 29

Project type: Building rehabilitation

Architects: DG Arquitecto

Location: Valencia