Rescued from a ruined state and a turbulent past, Matteo Ferrari and Carlota Gallo bring new life to this once-derelict apartment in the heart of Madrid. Adding layers, rewriting history, and generating new memories, the duo draws attention to natural light, local craft, and materials, in creating their warm and minimalist home.
Located in a traditional ‘Madrilenian Corrala’ building, the two-level apartment is bounded by a façade and an inner courtyard with a historic character. The plan is organic and characterised by the succession of consecutive spaces; the central partition has been altered, respecting the same proportions of the façade openings and forming two lowered arches in the traditional style.
With an emphasis on natural light, the apartment’s atmosphere features nuances of light and shadows. As light flows through the interior, the intensity changes according to the room and its function. The living room is flooded with natural light while the kitchen sits in a subtle shadow, and the bedroom is distinguished by a relaxing atmosphere.
The atmosphere changes its tone in the bathroom with ochre colours and a curtain inspired by the skin’s tactile sensations. Made of nylon, it brings a sense of warmth and dynamism to the space, establishing a dialogue with the artwork at the back of the room.
The handmade terracotta tiles give continuity between the different rooms, covering the floor and embracing the walls of the bathroom. Used in various formats and sizes, they contribute to enrich the spatial perception and give identity to the architectural volumes.
Most of the natural stones have been recovered during the renovation work and are used alternately throughout the space to create low tables and display stands. The antiqued limestone worktop and the tadelakt finish of the sculptural table contrast with the kitchen‘s aluminium, a texture that offers a more contemporary look to the ensemble.
Objects, art, and furniture are designed by Carlota and Matteo, their friends and local artisans. Most of the textile pieces were designed by Carlota, while the sculptural table amongst other things was designed by the couple together. A washbasin by artisan María Lázaro, Carlota Guerrero’s photographic work ‘Messages for cosmic creatures’ and a Colombian hammock weaved by indigenous women are just a few of the pieces found in this layered and rich home.
[Images courtesy of Matteo Ferrari and Carlota Gallo. Photography by Asier Rua.]