She from the UK, Japanese descent, he from Spain. Why not? is the name of the bar where they saw each other for the first time.

This project is a 60 square metre house renovation for a young cuople and their dog in the lively neighbourhood of Chueca in Madrid. Structural interventions were minimal, preserving the existing 1900 original construction. The main challenge of the renewal was to transform the pre-existing fixed and closed rooms into a flexible and fluid space using as few operations as possible.  

The core of the house in wood is inspired in the oriental culture whereas the other rooms look purposely simpler in order to highlight the Madrilenian outdoor surroundings.

A big living room with two balconies is the most frequented and alive room during the day. A small bedroom near the inner courtyard of the building provides the intimacy and the silence required to sleep in the night.

Materials are selected in order to create diverse and rich ambients into this small world. Crossed views are guaranteed in all the spaces giving a big sense of amplitude. Mirrors are part of the design, reflecting light and bringing infinite horizons to the rooms.

A project by
Alba Balmaseda


Alba Balmaseda



Very Wood Ideas
Marcos Magnasco


Montse Zamorano


Photo by Philip Mak


Born in La Coruña, Spain, in 1985. Graduated as an architect from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2010. Granted with the Erasmus program in La Sapienza University of Rome in 2007. Diploma Thesis rated as outstanding and winner of a National Prize in 2011. Secured a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architectural Projects at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in September 2011. 

Combines the practice of architecture with academic research and teaching. Collaborated actively with Irisarri+Piñera Architects, Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas (VIC) and Anupama Kundoo Architects. Developed academic research and teaching at Vastu Shilpa Foundation in Amhedabad, University of Nairobi, Tokyo Wonder Site, University IUAV Venice, KAKD Copenhagen or TU Berlin.

Co-founder of the BarrioBalmaseda studio which ran from 2014 to 2020. Since 2020 she has started a new architectural practice focused on design, teaching and research. Currently Guest Assistant Professor at Stuttgart School of Architecture and Planning and PhD candidate at Roma Tre University Department of Architecture. 


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