Known for its lively artistic scene, diverse community and rich heritage, the El Born neighbourhood in Barcelona is one of the best spots in the city to soak up authentic local culture. Originally developed as an aristocratic location due to its seaside proximity and central city location, the neighbourhood is now the place to live (or stay) for the unapologetically hip.

Guided by the diverse local aesthetic and traditional Spanish materials, architecture firm Mesura have created a short term apartment collection designed for the style-discerning traveller.

DESIGN Mesura | PHOTOGRAPHY Jose Hevia

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Surrounded by a bustling collection of shops, cafes and bars, the original building was a residential apartment block retaining much of its original character. While the El Born neighbourhood is a mixture of quaint traditional houses and towering renovated establishments, this building provided the perfect grounding for a tourist accommodation spot done differently – in this case incorporating tourist accommodation alongside the residential spaces.

Mesura undertook a reform of the fourth floor to create the four new short-term stay apartments. Guided by a plan to clearly seperate day and night zones, these petite but perfectly-thought out spaces each reflect the structural origins of the building and its core materials.

Stripping back the layers of adjustments and renovations made to the structure over the year, the designs now reflect a rustic yet contemporary aesthetic, grounded in warm tones and raw materials. Brick noggins, oak beams and polished timber floorboards and cabinetry are predominant features of each apartment, but each of the four units retains unique features from its origins. The result is an interior space that is immediately welcoming, unfettered in its design yet retaining a sense of timelessness thanks to the rediscovery of older building features. For the lively, cultured traveller planning to stay in the El Born neighbourhood, these apartments are the perfect fit.

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Mesura intended each apartment to ‘respect the constructive and atmospheric conditions’ of its form, emphasising original building features (like the exposed brick walls and beam ceilings) and subtly weaving in new materials.

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