The renovation of a Catalan house enhances an arched structure of the 19th century

CAVAA studio modifies the internal layout of La Galera apartment: the rigidity of orthogonal partitions is replaced by new geometries designed to value the supporting wall.

La Galera House, a residential project by CAVAA studio, is located in the municipality of Vilanova i la Geltrú, near Barcelona. Located near Plaça de la Vila and the Rambla Principal, the Catalan building in which the apartment is located was built in 1865 and was once used as headquarter of the Civil Guard station and cultural institutions.

Cavaa, La Galera
CAVAA, La Galera. Axonometry of the interior load-bearing wall dividing kitchen and living room. © CAVAA

A series of arches characterizes the central load-bearing walls of all three main floors, describing an atypical structure for a 19th century residential building. The design of the house, spread over 125 square meters, is based on the redistribution of the internal divisions, with the aim of showing and enhancing the arches – otherwise hidden in the original scheme of orthogonal partitions – and expanding the shared spaces. 

Cavaa, La Galera
CAVAA, La Galera. Interiors. Photo Filippo Poli

The grid of masonry has been dismantled in favour of connected and open areas, designed following a geometric shape that abandons the initial rigidity and serves as a guide for the suspended ceiling. The kitchen, located at the entrance, creates a single room with the living area thanks to the large arched opening, but leaving a clear material differentiation on the floor. 

Cavaa, La Galera
CAVAA, La Galera. Interiors. Photo Filippo Poli

The original brick walls, painted white, enhance in a chromatic contrast the black furniture of the apartment, in particular the central block of the kitchen and the low furniture of living room and corridor. A part of the arched supporting structure remains visible even in the bathroom, covered with white tiles. 

La Galera
Carrer Sant Gervasi, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia, Spain
Private apartment
CAVAA - Jordi Calbetó e Oriol Vañó
Federico Acetti , Laura Antolín and Laura Gutiérrez, architects
Promocions Santa Eulalia
125 sqm

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