La Diana by RÄS Studio (Vila de Gràcia in Barcelona, Spain) is the exercise of linking visually, volumetrically and functionally two independent and alienated entities: a commercial space on the ground floor and an apartment on the first floor. The architectural strategy was based on drilling the existing slab to create a large enough opening that would activate the relationship in section between the two floors, and in which the stairs are placed. This stairway is fragmented into two parts to offer a more human scale on the ground floor thanks to a 2,20 m high metal platform that acts as an intermediate landing and simultaneously segments the living area and the kitchen.
The intimacy issue given by the “groundfloorness” was approached by generating a semi-exterior patio that would act as a filter between the street and the interior. On the first floor, the night areas are organized around the void of the double space. The partitions are solved with equipped walls that include storage, room doors and upper glass panels that allow natural light from the façades into the inners of the house.
The materiality is responding to the will to recover and/or emphasize the original condition of traditional architecture. A piece of natural terracotta is placed as the pavement and the walls are stripped to expose the original brickwork with all its imperfections and textures. On the first floor, a concrete strip draws the perimeter of the outer walls and solves the intersection with the ceiling. Again, this strip divides the wall into two heights, adding domesticity to the space, making architecture react to the human scale.
Design and info © RÄS Studio
Images © Adrià Goula