Casal: Where Art, Music, and Architecture Collide

Casal is a vibrant and colorful apartment in the heart of Valencia, Spain’s historic Ruzafa neighborhood. Designed by Mario Montesinos Marco in 2018, this unique living space draws inspiration from party culture and electronic music. Embrace a new kind of living experience where creativity, leisure, and work seamlessly blend together.

Explore Casal’s imaginative spaces that blur the line between the digital and physical worlds, and redefine the boundaries of modern design.

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About Casal

Influence of Party Culture on Architecture

Party culture and electronic music have greatly influenced my work, deeply rooted in my city, Valencia. The “Disco Space,” the subject of my graduation thesis, exemplifies a space that transports users through a multi-sensory experience by creating dreamlike and theatrical atmospheres that exceed physical limits. Illusory environments emerge from light and sound technologies, geometric shapes, and chromatism, drawing inspiration from architectural ideas of the 60s by Italian radicals, Cedric Price, and Constant.

The Future of Work and Leisure

These architects predicted a future where technology frees individuals from work, creating a free, nomadic world without distinctions between leisure and work, dedicated to creativity and learning. A “generic” world where everything is possible. We are currently experiencing similar characteristics, grappling with ethical dilemmas arising from technological advances. As automation becomes unstoppable, the present society transforms into a grand disco that celebrates diversity, creativity, and active culture.

Blurring Digital and Physical Boundaries

I believe architecture should facilitate fantasies, much like digital media, allowing us to experience altered spatial states and blur the boundary between digital and physical worlds.

A Versatile Apartment in Valencia

Located in the historic neighborhood of Ruzafa, near Parque Central in Valencia, this apartment features a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The domestic space serves as both a place for leisure and work, public and private spaces. On the vertical axis, a blue module divides the two realms, while on the horizontal axis, a microcement platform contrasts with the original hydraulic tile pavement.

The Technified Home and Future of Living

As predictions about the end of human work no longer seem like futuristic visions, the technified and ultra-connected home exemplifies the dissolution of boundaries between public and private, work and leisure, rest and action. The home becomes a pleasure machine, dance floor, studio, bar, office, and more—a space for exhibition and transformation through theatrical environments and atmospheres.

Designing for an Artist Friend

Designing for a friend, an artist with whom I share similar aesthetic ideas, has been a great experience. We have enjoyed using the apartment as both a workspace and leisure space while producing furniture and lighting objects. Local artisans have crafted these pieces from glass, stone, iron, and PVC.

Disco Space: Redefining the World of Design

Disco Space exemplifies a more open understanding of design, not limited to the creation of everyday objects but as an instrument for modifying users through experience. The design of disco clubs greatly impacts user behavior by incorporating objects that stimulate imagination or enable action; colorful and playful environments, perforated and reflective surfaces. This type of space focuses on the symbolic and representational, emphasizing traditional psychological aspects in culture.

Photography courtesy of Mario Montesinos Marco

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- by Matt Watts