Can Llimona, at Alella, Barcelona, Thoughtful Intervention for Elegant and Effective Design, by Mesura Architects
Name: Can Limona
Location: Alella, Barcelona
Can Limona, the beautiful home of the Iborra-Wicksteed family has a rich history, corresponding with its quaint appearance and ornate charm. Situated in Alella, Barcelona, the original cottage of this structure is dated as far back as 1778. It was in the late eighties that Lluís Clotet and José Antonio Martínez La Peña were on a bid to find distinctive characteristics that would make their home, which included a strong architectural character and segregation of spaces with a large, common garden. Then, the majestic ‘mansion’ in Alella was discovered, as the old cottage, remodelled and enlarged in the Modernist architectural style in 1909. Duly, the discovery led to division of the floors of the structure, a residence for each tenant.
In 1992, the home was reformed again, wherein the architects ensured the original architecture of the cottage was respected, and new spaces generated were more open and versatile, through the design intervention introduced, which links the spaces with a base at a height of 2.2m.
Now, the Iborra-Wicksteed family sought residence in this structure, after twenty-five years of the previous reform. While nearly all their requirements, such as a single-storey house, a large garden and a rich architectural space, were met with at the ground floor farmhouse, the previous reform undertaken had led to the house resembling a familial space, and the clients were a couple. This gave rise to greater and varied design opportunities for transformation of spaces and usage, inclusive of the clients’ wish to incorporate a ‘huge master bedroom’.
“The project observes and studies the existing house from deep respect, understanding its three great formal singularities: the cottage house (with its large swastika walls); the modernist house (with its high ceilings and its large transverse spaces); and the intervention carried out in 1992 (which opens more common spaces, and links them with a base of 2.20m).”
While taking up the design project, it was observed that the previous reform project comprised treating the farmhouse and the modernist house differently, with regard to form as well as material. With the new design, it was intended that the whole house depict uniformity, and therefore, the disparate worlds were devised to be linked. A large and continuous longitudinal piece of furniture, therefore, interlaces the two separate structures. The furniture extends along two structural axes, and in three existing heights, separates the spaces for day and night. This is exemplary addition of a design element, wherein separation between two aspects is bridged, while separation between two other aspects is also stated. It is the transversal connector that will generate new spaces unprecedented through its permeability with large doors inspired by the stately Noucentist doors.
The materials employed in the interior design and décor majorly include stone, wood and stucco, the original materials of the modernist house. This idea is taken to the limit in the materials and planted forms: large white spaces with vertical curtains and stone floor; rooms of stucco finish (original of the modernist house and lost in the reform of 92) dark with wooden floor; A stone monolith as a kitchen island; Stone walls seen in the indoor pool, etc.
“The modern intervention (back to the modernist and rural origins of the imposing estate) accommodates the new needs of the tenant through a permeable longitudinal furniture that opens for the first time the transversality of the spaces.”
Can Llimona is a confluence of its rustic and rural charm, modernist vibes and rational designing. Shrouded in its green cover, the home offers recreation in the large garden, and spaces within which reflect elegance and generate tranquillity.
About the Architects:
Mesura Architects, in their own words, ’strive to create an unbelievable experience, handcrafted and tailored exclusively to the misura of each distinct client that exceeds his expectations.’
It is evident, through the design of Can Llimona, that the architectural team paid immense attention, not solely to the structure and the materials involved, but even the historic fabric and the story of this structure. Through such emphasis on details, their creations have reflected harmony and grace in architecture.
The very appearance of Can Llimona is a visual treat, a credit to its designers, and the interiors have been worked accordingly to encompass all required spaces, while keeping a general sense of minimalism.
– Devashree Vyas, Volume Zero.