African influences fused with contemporary styling make this Barcelona apartment tactile and inviting. Created by ARRCC interior designers, it sits along the Passeig de Gracia avenue in Barcelona’s heart, enjoying views of the iconic, modernist Gaudi Casa Mia.
The inspiration also draws from Barcelona’s culture. Its palette of rich materials adds integrity and authenticity, with raw wood mixing with metals, suedes and gloss, creating a sensory experience.
The whole floor apartment functions as urban retreat and family home. The floor-plan functions for entertainment and family life, utilising space efficiently. The interior responds to a desire for open, connected living while maintaining privacy, and this is also true of the roof terrace.
Each room has its own character, boasting rich textures and polished raw materials. With stained oak woods, bespoke brass screens, modern cladding and lacquered paneling, it feels homogeneous.
It is a space with a minimalistic and modern ambience, with both masculine and feminine finishes. The furnishing is an eclectic mix of curated pieces and personal artworks of the owner.
‘We wanted to create an intimate, warm interior common in high-end boutiques,’ says ARRCC partner and project leader, Mark Rielly. ‘Masculine colours and darker woods provide clues to the African rhythms, so we took a relaxed approach to curves, adding draped leather sofas and details like the vintage endocrine coffee table.
‘A highlight is the custom suspended brass screening with triangular cut-outs inspired by African beading, separating the lobby from living areas,” adds Rielly.
The feature timber ceiling behind the dining table allowed ARRCC to highlight one of the client’s keyartworks, which anchored the space, giving a focal point.
In the main bedroom, faceted marble ledges sit alongside geometric lights, with trimmings of distressed leathers, plush suedes and soft cream drapes creating a cohesive fluidity and warmth.
In the kitchen, streamlined wood and stone fit the style. In the surrounding spaces, dark wood wraps onto the walls contrasted with Venetian plastering.
Further bespoke features include the contemporary take on an African fire element on a faceted ledge in the TV lounge, a carbon fibre dining table, OKHA vases by renowned glass blower David Reade, and jeweled chain lights. A sensuous timber sculpture curves snake-like to soften crisp edges.
Outside, the landscaped roof terrace creates refuge from Barcelona’s heat. Custom umbrellas inspired by Passeig de Gracia’s trees create privacy. A double volume gardened wall reflects in the bar’s smoked mirrors, conjuring further space.
‘What may appear trouble-free came with great complexity,’ says ARRCC director Jon Case. ‘We had to adhere the original plan, including a historical hexagon-shaped central courtyard.
So we reflected elements of this throughout the apartment.’
It’s easy to understand why the West African apartment owner returns to the Cape-Town based ARRCC team. A global entrepreneur with a keen eye when it comes to architecture and design, he knows precisely what home fits to his lifestyle.