Barcelona has many modernist buildings that are part of its history. Although most of them were transformed into mulit-star hotels or museums, Casa Burés became a beautiful apartment building. Vilablanch and TDB Arquitectura joined forces to preserve the existing functions as much as possible.
Vilablanch is the interior design studio of Elina Vilá and Agnès Blanch that they founded in 1999 in Barcelona. Since then they have had a wide range of unique interior projects for homes, developers and commercial spaces. One of their unique projects is Casa Burés. A historic building that was built at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Spanish architect Francesc Berenguer i Mestres on behalf of Francesc Burés. A wealthy businessman who owned several textile companies. In 1979, Casa Burés became a listed building, but over the years it was destroyed and fell into a state of decay. In order to restore all the original functions as they were, Vilablanch collaborated with TDB Arquitectura, an architectural firm founded by Juan Trias de Bes that is specialised in designing functional apartments. The company's headquarters were originally located on the ground floor. The 1000 square metre first floor served as the home of the Burés family and the top floor – accessible by one of the first lifts installed in Barcelona – had nine rental apartments of 300 square metre. The renovation resulted in the construction of five penthouses and sixteen apartments.
The elegant and sophisticated interior design restores, and even enhances, the valuable decorative elements.
The renovation of Casa Burés retains not only the structure of the building and the catalogued decorative elements, but also the advantages of modernist architecture. Think of a lot of light, a great sense of space, the use of high-quality materials and maximum comfort. The façade of the building on the corner with Carrer Ausiàs March and Carrer Girona is still as impressive as when it was built, but the interior is the biggest asset today.
Vilablanch and TDB renovated all the apartments, ranging from huge living rooms with ceilings and frescoes to more austere apartments as we know them today. The elegant and sophisticated interior design restores, and even enhances, the valuable decorative elements that are part of the history of modernism. The first floor has been decorated as an ode to the original occupant and therefore looks very royal. Each apartment covers an area of 500 square metres and has retained its elegant ceilings and mosaic floors. The fitted kitchens are made of stainless steel. Long corridors with stained glass windows and original frescoes with gilded panelling connect the rooms. The ground floor, which served as a production area, has been converted into three industrial apartments where open dining and sitting areas are divided by iron columns. In order to stay in the industrial atmosphere, the architects opted for concrete floors and visible bricks that run through the entire surface.
The total renovation is a symphony of stone, glass, wood mosaic and wrought iron from which the unparalleled craftsmanship drips. Catalonia's modernist heritage experts carefully studied all the doors, windows, floors and sculptures in order to restore them precisely. Most of the elements were restored, others were in such condition that they were replaced by an identical piece or were given a new life as decoration.