In a 753-Square-Foot Madrid Apartment, a Small Intervention Resulted in a Total Transformation


The team at Madrid’s Estudio Reciente, led by architect Carlos Tomás, didn’t have to resort to noisy demolitions and a serious construction project when they recently reimagined a 753-square-foot apartment in the city’s lively Lavapiés neighborhood. Not surprisingly, the neighbors were grateful that the project was so small in scope, but the owner was as well, after seeing the final result.

This project was more subtle than many of the studio’s renovations, more of a touch-up than a total transformation, but it still stays true to the firm’s identity. Even though it was only a partial renovation with some small interventions, there is no question that the team at Estudio Reciente was behind it.

The large bookshelf connects the main spaces of the apartment and provides a place for the owner to display his large collection of art and history books.

Sergio Pradana

The client, a young man who loves books and art, gave the studio a challenge: Update the apartment without losing any of its original essence while working on a limited budget and on a tight schedule—two requests that architects and designers hear more than they might like.

While the studio generally works on larger projects, the team set their watches and embarked on the mission with an approach that Carlos describes as “a minimal intervention that enhances the value of the existing unit and, with only a few elements, changes and updates the way of using the space.”

Image may contain Furniture Bookcase Lamp Bed and Couch

The relationship between the entry, the living room, and the primary bedroom was reimagined thanks to a custom bookshelf that provided order to the floor plan and gave structure to the apartment’s layout.

Sergio Pradana





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