Houzz Tour: A Colourful Flat Perfectly Tailored to its Owner
A retired homeowner turned to an architect known for his bold use of colour to create this joyful pied-à-terre
Who lives here? Dany Fontaine, who headed the French division of an international company but is now retired
Location Callao, Madrid, Spain
Size 40 sq m
Budget €1,200 (around £1,013) per sq m
Architect Gonzalo Pardo of Gon architects
Photos by Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
Dany Fontaine, the flat’s retired owner, found Gonzalo’s professional profile on Houzz and sent him a message through the platform. “I came across Gonzalo’s Houzz profile by searching for ‘architects in Madrid’ on Google,” Dany says. What does she like most about the platform? “Seeing so many inspirational photos.”
With a great kitchen and a blue cupboard that wraps around the small space, this pied-à-terre is completely tailored to her needs. A place to enjoy life, tapas with her friends and the company of her children, but also time to herself. A flat à la Gonzalo Pardo.
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“You can’t get enough of colour,” he says. “It’s a low-budget resource that brings very good results. In this case, the owner was very clear that the colour she wanted was [RAL 5005 blue].”
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“Sometimes, colour is also an act of provocation,” he continues, citing Carlos Cruz-Diez, Olafur Eliasson, Josef Albers or Barragán as some of his many artistic references.
The surprises don’t end there, however. The mirror just to the right of the entrance is actually the door to the bedroom. There’s also another large mirror in the kitchen. “The mirrors in Dany’s house are doors to other spaces and with them, we sought to double the light and the sense of space and create drama,” Gonzalo says.
“But she listened to our advice and was on board with every choice we made,” he continues. “The bathroom window, for example, was a solution that she really liked. We installed smart film, which is opaque when on and transparent when off.”
Perhaps one could argue that Gonzalo’s architecture only works in small spaces. “I don’t agree,” he says. “It’s more difficult to make a small house than a big one. We’re now designing one that’s 500 square metres, and there are many concepts used in this flat that also work in larger spaces.”
At a time when we seem to have forgotten about the joy of living and that our homes should be a place for relaxation, Gonzalo’s designs are only for those who want to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of their home.
What appeals to you about this colourful home? Share your thoughts in the Comments.