El Garaje by Nomos Arquitectos

El Garaje is a lovely apartment located in Madrid, Spain, redesigned in 2021 by Nomos Arquitectos.

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El Garaje is a car repair shop transformed into a living space, surrounded by a parking ramp all along its perimeter. The apartment spans between the street and the courtyard.

In place of the old garage door, there is now a galvanized door in a blue frame and glass bricks. Two additional openings are inserted in the brick facade for additional light and ventilation. From the street, this palette of materials indicates what will happen on the inside. Contemplated from the interior, the façade frames partial fragments of the urban context and regulates the degrees of intimacy required between the house and the street.

The threshold space works as an anteroom to the kitchen and offers a multipurpose area: it can double its surface during the day while at night a large sliding door closes off the children’s room.

The new home is designed as a connected collection of rooms: it has no corridor but relies on two central spaces housing the kitchen and the dining room, acting as the heart of the house.

Equipped walls, that contain installations, and storage space, define the sequence of rooms and frame the diagonal views between them. The walls are built from standard concrete blocks with ceramic tiles at the corners which ensure the blocks are never cut. The corner ornamental detail results from an economy of means which then works as a fixing point for the electrical installation. The proportion of the spaces is directly related to the concrete blocks’ sizes.

The house is an experiment of the possibilities of organizing a contemporary typology based on an additive system of rooms of similar proportions, where function does not dominate the design.

Photography by Luis Asín

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- by Matt Watts