(bau)m transforms 18-century structure into contemporary house for family of musicians in spain

Apr 15, 2021

in the heart of seville’s historic center, spain, architecture firm (bau)m has completed the renovation of an 18th-century house to form a contemporary living environment for a family of musicians. with the condition of the original structure in a critical condition and many of its elements about to collapse, the design team proceeded with a series of interventions, while highlighting the original well-preserved typology, in order to generate a new living container that combines past and present.

the project by (bau)m works with the idea of privacy filters, manipulating the intermediate spaces in order to build a soft transition from the public spaces to the intimate ones. the patio emerges then as a semi-private area, highly connected with the street, to accommodate family interactions comfortably. the house is thought of as a sequence of spaces, linked by the light coming from the void of the patio.

the concept of the refurbishment is heavily influenced by the world of music, with the architects looking at the old building just like how the pianist glenn gould reinterpreted bach’s goldberg variations in 1955. in this way, the project is willing to look at the past of the house and to write a new contemporary chapter.

to approach the mixture of old and new in a sensitive manner, the (bau)m team followed a clear line of thought with specific steps: diagnosis, depuration, consolidation and prosthesis. it is an essentially reversible process that consolidates historical remains and enables new uses. after a very deep study of the original condition of the building, all those previously added, distorting elements were removed, while the historical remains were consolidated, using traditional techniques and materials. then, a series of new elements was introduced, developed with contemporary materials.

the main structure of the residence takes shape as an origami exercise: the railing system, a continuous metal plate, is folded up to the second floor, creating a visual connection and bringing the light down. the first flight of stairs had an original vaulted structure from the 18th century that was consolidated and preserved, using traditional techniques and materials: clay mortar, brick vaults and wooden elements.

meawhile, all new elements employ metallic solutions for their construction: metal slabs, folded metal sheets and plates-made window frames. the flooring system is hard (structural polished concrete of the bracing slab) on the ground floor and it becomes soft (industrial solid oak parquet) as it reaches the more private spaces on the first floor.

project info:

name: house for a family of musicians architects: (bau)m

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom