Bathyard home is an energetically rehabilitated 130m2 apartment in a residential building dating from 1900, organized around a new socio-bioclimatic domestic space: the Bathyard.
Before rehabilitation, the apartment was energy-inefficient and dark, almost completely facing north and west, with the exception of one window that gave onto an interior patio. The latter was the only one facing south, the most favorable orientation climatically, but it was wasted on a corridor and storage area. The original apartment was transformed by introducing a few changes in the partition walls while maintaining the original structure intact. With simple modifications, the project reoriented a large part of the house to the south. This was achieved by creating a new type of space inside the house: a bathyard, a space that generates a new “exterior” inside the apartment and lends passive thermal and light comfort to the entire home. The bathyard is a space whose character can be negotiated and altered by the users by sliding transparent wooden-framed partitions and opening out a folding bench. It is a place where different activities can overlap and be shared, such as trying on clothes, enjoying breakfast, or having a conversation while one is taking a bath and the other is sitting on the folding bench. It can also be the setting of a glorious solitary bath experience.
The movable partitions have different degrees of transparency: some have semi-reflective screens, which are strategically positioned with surprising effects, for instance reflecting the sunlight to rooms facing north.
How do you respond to the everyday needs of a family, taking into account their singularities and offering micro solutions for an apartment that was climatically inefficient and dark but full of possibilities, whilst making a minimum number of structural changes?
It has been designed for a woman, her family and her plants. After several years of living in the suburbs with her sons, who have now grown up and are about to leave home, she decided to return to a central location in Madrid. She dreamed of having a spacious bathroom, the possibility of bringing with her some of the plants she had had in her former house, and a living room where she could share, among other things, long cinema sessions together with her sons.
While responding to specific desires and needs, Bathyard home becomes a testing ground for thinking over the relationship between the home space and the narrow, interior patios or light wells commonly present in residential buildings in dense, Mediterranean cities such as Madrid. These spaces are currently undervalued, but ones that could instead gain a new and relevant climatic and social dimension.
There is a small greenhouse, equipped with a drip irrigation system, which accommodates different types of plants. The central position of this space within the flat facilitates cross-ventilation and the enjoyment of a new landscape facing south, it is connected with the living room through the oculus which connects the bathyard with the living and dining spaces visually and climatically.