A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid
A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid
A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid

The design challenge for the M.R. House is clear: to preserve. The reminiscence becomes a structural element of the project in an intervention capable of maintaining the 'ghost' of the 20th century, but brought into the 21st, honoring the decadent bourgeois vibe and a certain air of magic that the house carries

In January 2016, M.R., a prestigious fashion photographer commissioned gon architects and Ana Torres to completely renovate a 175m2 apartment located on the third floor of an early 20th century building in the heart of Madrid, very close to the new Plaza de España.
Three courtyards that facilitate the ventilation and natural lighting of the house, the hierarchical structure of the pass-through rooms, the thick load-bearing walls, the checkerboard marble and slate floors, the wallpapered walls, the full-height doors of different sizes and transparencies, the three fireplaces, and the high ceilings with perimeter moldings and central rosettes: this is the fundamental texture of the M.R. House, in the past as well as in the project for its new existence

A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid

The renovation by gon architects and Ana Torres, which spans five years between the different phases of design, necessary licenses and construction of the work, seeks the coexistence between the original structural, spatial and material values of the house, and those that contemporary technology translates into home comforts that make the house a comfortable and more sustainable place to live

A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid

The design of the domestic spaces was carried out on the basis of two distinct strategies. One that reuses and reinterprets the most identifiable elements of the house, such as the 22 existing doors or the 955 slate and marble tiles found in the original floors, which are inventoried one by one. An almost surgical method of working, which allows for the cleaning and discovery of details and facilitates their transfer, individually or assembled, to the new home, giving them a second life

A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid

All those elements that cannot be preserved and recovered, such as moldings or chimneys, are reinterpreted and reconstructed according to a contemporary language. For other elements that are necessary and do not exist, such as cabinet doors, some existing decorative patterns are digitized and pantographed with a numerically controlled system, with negative version carvings to differentiate them from the originals, on new supporting materials

A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid

The second strategy aims to achieve wide-ranging spatial operations in line with contemporary ways of life, such as establishing continuous and fluid connections between all rooms in the house through the demolition of dividing walls and the adoption of original compositional strategies: the boundaries between public and private, interior and exterior are blurred; mirrors are introduced, which are strategically placed, generating optical illusions that duplicate and expand the rooms

A house narrates the life of a globetrotter: amid historic charm and new design, the M.R. House in the heart of Madrid

Gallery