Although it is difficult to put our finger on why older, restored houses are considered by many to convey a much stronger feeling of homeliness than modern properties, restored historical homes retain a dual character. On the one hand, they are a valuable testimony to a world in which we lived and built differently; and yet, on the other hand, they are perfect for modern life and meet all of our current needs. The motto of Fernando García Molinos, of FGM Arquitecto, is
new life for old houses. He has been commissioned to rehabilitate this rundown but charming period property with the help of the owners. The result? A perfect relationship between past and present.
After remaining uninhabited for some time, this building in Valencia, Spain, was in very poor condition. The walls had been damaged by moisture, and the wooden beams were rotten in parts, so the architect decided that the structure need to be strengthened.
The new facade is a perfect epilogue to the renovated interior. As we see in the photograph, captured by Ben Lustenhouwer, white has been chosen as the main colour for the exterior, and has been combined with blue around the door and in the window wells. The window on the second floor has been enlarged to increase the flow of natural light inside the home.
In this image, it's clear to see the poor state of the kitchen before the refurbishment took place. It's evident that the house had been vacant for an extended period of time. After coating the walls and reinforcing the structure, the potential of this room was rediscovered…
The change in the kitchen is impressive. The timber cabinet doors and restored shutters provide a rustic touch to this townhouse. Not forgetting, of course, the broad wooden beams on the ceiling, or the stairs to the right of the image, which despite the renovation, maintain their original essence.
As mentioned, the owners of the house were fully involved in the reform and provided much of the manpower, playing a large part in the success of this renovation. Here, we see an interior that does not want to say goodbye to its history. Contemporary furniture design and structural elements contrast with rougher elements, responsible for rural air in the room.
The bedroom is a warm and simple room without extravagance. The frame of the bed is hidden by the bedspread, giving centre stage to the wooden beams and dark woodwork which contrasts with the white walls and ceiling.
On the top floor of the house, there was a lot of work to do. The deterioration of the walls is easily noticeable and the state of the plaster reveals that extensive work must be carried out before the attic is habitable again.
The renovated attic looks completely different, but retains the essence and character of the old building. From the point of view of ecological efficiency, townhouses are buildings with a very low maintenance thanks to the simplicity of their structure. This attic has been insulated so that it will be warm in winter and cool in summer. We're sure the occupants enjoy cosy evenings by the fire in this newly created seating area, too.
If you've enjoyed this project, why not take a look at the following ideabook: Revival of a 16th century farmhouse.