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Light Relief

In the heart of Madrid's Barrio de Salamanca, this apartment was fully remodelled and transformed into a bright 210-square-metre space. Designed by Spanish architecture studio Ábaton in collaboration with interior design partner Batavia, the new, open plan perfectly matches the young owners' needs and lifestyle. Soft hues and natural materials, as well as modern and contemporary pieces of furniture were key elements to shape this airy and peaceful atmosphere.

What have been some of the key influences that have informed your design sensibility? How has this been realised in this project?

We are particularly interested in diaphanous and unobstructed spaces, where light plays an important role. We also give priority to textures and natural materials. These influences are drawn from Japanese architecture. In this apartment, every corner is bathed in light and the floor is in natural oak wood.

How did you become involved in this project and what was the client's brief?

Our clients -a young couple - bought this apartment in an old building, which dates from the 1920s. We wanted to respect the original aesthetics but we needed to update the layout, as there were initially many dark spaces and nooks.

What were some of the challenges of the space and how did you resolve them with your design scheme?

When we started on the project, we realised that the apartment was divided into small spaces with little natural light. We decided to add large openings in the wall that separates the dining room from the living room, so the kitchen is now connected to the dining room thanks to the windows. These changes were made to take advantage of the great natural light that comes through the balcony of the main living space.

How would you describe the finished project?

Our objective was really to enhance light and reduce the feeling of having a very long corridor that links the public areas of the apartment to the private spaces. We achieved that by designing a large wooden divide that gives access to the main bedroom and visually separates the corridor into two.

What are some of your favourite design elements?

The most special elements are probably the ones that we restored, such as the shutters and the fireplace. We also feel that the glass wall between the kitchen and the corridor, as well as the wooden divide were effective solutions to reduce the feeling that the space was very long.

Where there any devices that you employed to maximise the sense of space?

The light crossing from the main facade to the central courtyards and the connection between spaces.

Was the client happy with the completed project and how do they use the space?

The owners are very pleased. They particularly enjoy the living room, especially when they are spending time with family and when they have guests. They are also enchanted by the privacy afforded in the bedroom area.

(Published in Belle)