Apartment Renovation Exposes A Rich History Captured In Layers Of Transformation

In a world so focused on change, on finding the next great trend and on looking forward, it’s refreshing to also see that sometimes we also like to look back and to rediscover our past. That being said, we’re really excited to show you today an apartment renovation with a very cool design strategy. The apartment we’re talking about is located in Valencia, Spain, in a building that dates back to the early 20th century.

This was a special kind of renovation focused more on preserving the old features rather than adding new onesView in gallery
This was a special kind of renovation focused more on preserving the old features rather than adding new ones
The apartment's history was preserved and even emphasized by the apartment's new interior designView in gallery
The apartment’s history was preserved and even emphasized by the apartment’s new interior design
To preserve the history of the space as much as possible, the new interior design features unconventional dividers instead of wallsView in gallery
To preserve the history of the space as much as possible, the new interior design features unconventional dividers instead of walls

The renovation took place in 2017 and was done by Roberto di Donato Architecture. In the period previous to the project, the building stayed abandoned for several years until it became an empty shell overcome by the passage of time. The architect saw hope and potential and what to others seemed like a lost cause looked to him like a blank canvas waiting to be painted.

The apartment has an open floor plan living space with exposed brick walls and ceiling beamsView in gallery
The apartment has an open floor plan living space with exposed brick walls and ceiling beams
The kitchen is naturally embedded into the space, taking advantage from all the natural light that enters the apartmentView in gallery
The kitchen is naturally embedded into the space, taking advantage from all the natural light that enters the apartment
The open kitchen communicates with the living area in a very natural and comfortable mannerView in gallery
The open kitchen communicates with the living area in a very natural and comfortable manner

In other words, an empty shell meant lots of challenges but also lots of opportunities waiting to be explored. The goal was not to transform the apartment beyond recognition but to make suitable for modern living while preserving its original character as much as possible. In fact, the architect went a little beyond all that and also managed to uncover parts of the apartment’s history, putting all the layers on display and enhancing all these features with the help of a few contemporary additions.

The architects didn't only preserve the existing charm of the building but they also uncovered some elementsView in gallery
The architects didn’t only preserve the existing charm of the building but they also uncovered some elements
Any imperfections and damaged surfaces were kept intact and not repaired or hiddenView in gallery
Any imperfections and damaged surfaces were kept intact and not repaired or hidden
The texture of the exposed brick walls is beautifully highlighted by the accent lightingView in gallery
The texture of the exposed brick walls is beautifully highlighted by the accent lighting

The new interior design of the space is a wonderful blend of old and new elements with a big emphasis on the old and a careful selection of materials and forms intended to complement the exposed brick walls, the freshly uncovered and restored roof structure as well as the polished concrete flooring. One of the main goals of the renovation process was to create a fluid and seamless connection between the old and the new features.

In the living area, the windows were left uncovered for a more authentic and striking lookView in gallery
In the living area, the windows were left uncovered for a more authentic and striking look
There's a very. nice continuity between the spaces, both aesthetically and structurallyView in gallery
There’s a very. nice continuity between the spaces, both aesthetically and structurally

The apartment now has a distinct modern appearance which was achieved by leaving the existing structure almost undisturbed. Only essential new features were added and any existing imperfections were preserved and even highlighted by the new decor. A new division of spaces was also created. The day and night zones are separated not by walls but by a set of unconventional partition modules which double as wardrobes in the bedroom.

The apartment's new interior design embraces the history of the building and proudly displays all its layersView in gallery
The apartment’s new interior design embraces the history of the building and proudly displays all its layers
There's also an emphasis on the verticality of the space achieved through various elements, for example this ladderView in gallery
There’s also an emphasis on the verticality of the space achieved through various elements, for example this ladder
Certain portions of the brick walls were covered up in a manner which doesn't interfere with the harmony of the designView in gallery
Certain portions of the brick walls were covered up in a manner which doesn’t interfere with the harmony of the design

Both the verticality and the horizontal lines of the apartment were accentuated, each time using distinct features such as the tall wooden wardrobe partitions, the full-height white curtains in the bedroom, the tall ladder or the extra long kitchen worktop or the white plaster pedestal. This ensures a beautiful continuity between the spaces and also helps to highlight all the imperfections and the layers of transformation/ the history of the space.

Instead of solid walls, the apartment is organized using a set of unconventional partitionsView in gallery
Instead of solid walls, the apartment is organized using a set of unconventional partitions
The partitions help divide the day and night areas, separating the bedroom from the living spacesView in gallery
The partitions help divide the day and night areas, separating the bedroom from the living spaces
These partitions are made of wood and serve multiple purposes. Here you can see one being used as a wardrobeView in gallery
These partitions are made of wood and serve multiple purposes. Here you can see one being used as a wardrobe

There are lots of cool features and details worthy of mention but a few stand out and have a dramatic impact on the entire apartment. This obviously includes all the exposed walls which define not only the living spaces but also the bedroom and even the bathroom. They provide a charming shell for all the new features.

The brick walls are one of the elements which unify the internal spaces, bathroom includedView in gallery
The brick walls are one of the elements which unify the internal spaces, bathroom included
The bathroom is small but at the same time bright and pretty spacious thanks to the carefully selected materials and finishesView in gallery
The bathroom is small but at the same time bright and pretty spacious thanks to the carefully selected materials and finishes