Built-in Bonanza: 13 Mega Apartment Makeovers Packed with Custom Features

History Uncovered & Uncluttered by Vora

Over the years, one renovation on top of the other can eventually cloud the history of a space. That was the case in ‘Juan’s Apartment,’ where many changes over the decades stripped the interiors of their most defining features. Vora Architecture saw past all of these additions and deconstructed it back to its original mosaic floors and weathered brick walls. What they did build instead was a series of self-contained modules that enhance functionality and can be removed in the future.

Bold Colorful Volumes in Barcelona by Raul Sanchez

One goldenrod geometric addition holds the staircase and another the bedroom in ‘Duplex Tibbaut’ by Raul Sanchez, a renovation combining two neglected Barcelona apartments into one spacious home. Mezzanines are built up around the new volumes to produce a creative interplay of levels; here’s another example of a floating effect where the upstairs floor doesn’t quite meet the exterior wall so you can look down onto the lower floor without a railing. The black box containing the bed within the larger master suite certainly adds some privacy.

Bright and Modern Inside London’s Iconic Brutalist Barbican Building

What would you imagine the interiors of London’s famous Brutalist building, the Barbican residential tower, look like? Many people find Brutalist architecture highly dystopian-looking (though the Barbican is probably the softest of the London examples) and you may expect to find a similar cold concrete vibe in the apartments. Not so – at least in the case of this triplex apartment renovated by the architecture firm Emulsion. These interiors keep the austere look with minimal ornamentation, but it gets a vivd splash of color from a palette inspired by Le Corbusier and the whole space is practically a showcase of midcentury modern design.

Studio in Paris by Anne Rolland Architects

This tiny ground-floor space in a 17th century building in Paris once served as a connection between a large apartment and the yard outside, but lay abandoned for over 70 years. Architect Anne Rolland breathed new life into it by removing partition walls and then adding two built-in elements to contain the sleeping area and the kitchen. But the small apartment is more than what it seems at first glance: Hidden in the floor is the entrance to a former slurry pit turned music room and home theater.