From outhouse to penthouse

Modern living in traditional listed building

Uninhabited since the sixties, this apartment occupies the top floor of a listed building in the centre of Alicante.  The building was erected in 1928 and is protected by the Catálogo de Bienes y Espacios Protegidos del Plan General de Alicante, which highlights the classical composition of the elevations, the circular bay window and detailing of the eaves and fascia.

In the early 20th century these top floor apartments were commonly occupied by the concierge who would monitor comings and goings, keep mail or keys for absent homeowners to deal with emergencies in their absence, and generally perform  other roles to ensure the safety and security of the buildings inhabitants.

The aim of the project was to completely renovate the penthouse apartment to create a contemporary living environment whilst maintaining original elements, such as the decorative cement floor tiles and the original wooden windows and doors.  In the bathroom, the plaster on a load-bearing wall was removed to display the original stonework wall, into which we inserted a full height glass wall around a salvaged wooden door.  To improve the energy performance of the apartment, thermal insulation was added to all the external walls and roof, whilst all the original wooden frame windows were refurbished, treated and fitted with double glazing.

The use of natural and reclaimed materials, such as the rough stone wall and the ageing wooden windows, adds texture and warmth to the clean lines of contemporary architecture, creating a beautiful balance of sleek airy minimalism and weathered natural charm.