The Spanish studio Takk drew inspiration from Russian nesting dolls for the refurbishment of this residence in Barcelona, which has rooms nested within each other to maximize insulation.
The 50-square-metre flat, dubbed 10K House, was refurbished by Takk with a material budget of under 10,000 euros in order to make it as sustainable as possible.
The idea was motivated by worries about climate change and the worldwide energy crises that homeowners and tenants are experiencing.
According to Takk, rooms were constructed “within one another” on a single level to resemble the layers of an onion and to locate the rooms that demand the most heat in the apartment’s center.
These created rooms were elevated using repurposed table legs to facilitate the passage of water pipes and electrical fittings without the need to make wall grooves, hence decreasing the overall cost.
The elevated central bedroom, for instance, is wrapped in gridded frames of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) encased in slabs of local sheep’s wool — practical and economical materials that are prevalent throughout the interior.
According to Luzárraga and Muio, despite the apartment’s modest size, it is intricately designed so that occupants are never bored.
After destroying the apartment’s old interior layout, Takk decided not to treat the flooring and walls with expensive and carbon-intensive materials.
Rather, the architects scrubbed the room clear and left remnants of the former dividers and demolished light fixtures exposed, giving the flat a raw look and preserving a hint of the old floor layout.
The kitchen is placed in the most open area of the 10K House and has exposed metal sinks and geometric wooden cabinets.
According to the architects, the open kitchen is intended to be a “gender-neutral” space that combats prejudices commonly associated with housekeeping.
Luzárraga and Muio remarked, “Traditionally, the kitchen has been seen as a room primarily used by women, whether they own the home or do domestic labor.”
This has resulted in this space being relegated to secondary portions of the home, poorly lighted and poorly ventilated, especially in smaller dwellings.
The residence was created with CNC-milled components that were cut off-site and attached with conventional screws.
Takk used this strategy to encourage do-it-yourself house construction and provided the customer with a compact instruction booklet that allowed them to assemble portions of the apartment themselves, “as if it were a piece of furniture.”
According to Luzárraga and Muio, 10K House is based on a prior proposal by the architectural company called The Day After House, which contains similar “unprejudiced” design ideas.
The architects, who are also a couple, inserted an igloo-like structure into their Barcelona house to create a winter-themed bedroom for their little daughter.