Estudio Toledo

TYPOLOGY

Residential

SERVICE

Architecture, Interior Design, Project Management & Construction Administration

PHOTOGRAPHY

Samuel Ramos

A small attic in the winding backstreets of Madrid’s historic Plaza Mayor. Two floors and a small terrace facing church domes and ochre roof-tiles. A ruinous place full of potential and light. Bought by a young client open to everything in a place where all had to be taken down.

We brought down all the attic’s doors and walls to remain with its naked structure: a skeleton bathed in sunlight. Not just a repository, but what was, and had to be, the soul of the project itself. We began by focusing on the light and the way it flowed and bounced off the walls. From the terrace to the entrance door one could draw a spiral, meaning the light came down diagonally but also circularly. It shone on two focused points: the floor above facing the terrace, and below just at the end of the stairs.
One above, the other below, the first became the place to sleep, the other the place to eat.
It quickly became apparent that raising walls around those moments would be a crime against the light. So, we decided to only wall up the bathroom next to the terrace door. And in general, to leave the light as un-obtruded as possible.

This meant minimal furniture, stairs without railing, greyish colors that would not compete with the vibrant blue coming from above, some strategically located mirrors and floors made from earthy materials that would absorb but not reflect the light. Above all, this meant working with, and from, the form itself. We carved the bookcase from the wall, raised small micro-cement bases for the bed and the sitting area and even managed to open a small, vertical hole as a writing desk. Lastly, the stairs –the functional core of the attic— were left, as a sort of tribute, white: a metal carpet for the sky. Once finished the, attic’s skeleton now looked like the spire of a seashell. An unpretentious, tiny place perched in a winding street that warms the light as it receives it. Un caracol, as we say in Spanish.

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