Joan D’austria apartment & working area \ External Reference

• October 12, 2013

External Reference 3 600x443  Joan Daustria apartment & working area \ External Reference

courtesy External Reference

Domestic space affects the user very personally and has been discussed extensively over the history of architecture. At present; new lifestyles, new families and more flexible professional routines, have favored the emergence of a unique user profile, one that is complex and involves having a clear understanding on personal needs. This is the case of the inhabitant of this residential and work space: an industrial designer, active art director and one who is very involved in the world of fashion, advertising and performing arts. Our user raised the idea of devoting a warehouse to hold a photo shoot studio, office space, meeting room, space for auditions, castings, fashion shows, and finally, a home. Therefore, creating a space that one would be able to live, work and play in.

External Reference 1 600x330  Joan Daustria apartment & working area \ External Reference

courtesy External Reference

Due to this, the project acquired exceptional guidelines. The spirit of all design decisions where based on giving shape and structure to a domestic space, that seeks to be understood mainly, as a space to share. In this sense, the socially outgoing and energetic personality of the user is reflected in the project. The space becomes a kind of inhabited scenery where public and private interact with few apparent limits.

The project exists over two floors, the ground floor and the mezzanine area.

External Reference 10 600x900  Joan Daustria apartment & working area \ External Reference

courtesy External Reference


On the entrance level there is a large space for photo shoots to take place in. The ground floor also includes the users work space, which incorporates a meeting area that sits below the living space in the loft.

External Reference 16 600x400  Joan Daustria apartment & working area \ External Reference

courtesy External Reference


The mezzanine holds a large livable space in which domestic programs hybridize with common spaces. The kitchen, bathroom and walking wardrobe areas are positioned on the side of the space, creating a service area which can be covered by sliding doors when necessary. The central space is occupied by a group of island-sofas, the larger island-sofa acts as an object that conceals the sliding bed, which slides in and out as the user needs. This space can also be used as a casting and catwalk area.

As a link between the two levels, we integrated a light and large structure made of steel within the project; it serves as a display area for the user´s collection of pop and kitsch objects. OSB white painted panels, metal rods, polycarbonate and black painted bricks are the main materials used in the project. Every element of the design was hand-crafted; no CNC cutting machines were used for making any part of the refurbishment.

The original building, a taxi garage, offers a powerful industrial spirit, which serves as a reference for the project and its future evolution. All in all, the functional program, the reduced budget and the client ambitions leads to low cost systems but to eloquent dramatic effects.

External Reference 9 600x893  Joan Daustria apartment & working area \ External Reference

courtesy External Reference

+ About External Reference

Awarded by New Italian Blood as the best Young Italian Architects of 2011, External Reference is an architectural office involved in design and research in the fields of interior design, architecture, and landscape design.

Interested in generating intensity nodes the office is currently involved in research and design in the fields of exhibition spaces and temporary stops as shopping galleries, hotels, accommodations and cultural events.

Based in Barcelona the office establishes work collaborations with international professionals coming from different fields as graphic design and art.

More of a professionals net than an office External Reference Architects is constantly questioning conventional configurations and solutions in order to engage, speculate and innovate.

External Reference Architects notices that there is a big connection between evolvement of architecture projects and business models and believes in sustainable development, balance between architecture, innovative strategy and business improvement.

Directed by Nacho Toribio & Carmelo Zappulla External Reference Architects offers a broad range of design strategies with the aim of pushing the boundaries towards new outcomes.

Looking for the unexpected the office team works on external factors as client needs, budget limits, sustainability as driving forces for the design.

Realized and under construction projects have been developed in Spain, Korea, Italy, UK, Germany, France and Russia.

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Category: Interior

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