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Boat-inspired apartment is a series of transforming cubes

The Born is now one of Barcelona’s most desirable neighborhoods, but several centuries ago this portion of the Gothic quarter was filled with craftspeople and fishermen. Several years ago, a family of architects and interior designers bought an old fisherman’s home in a 17th-century building here and turned it into a hyper-modern transforming apartment.

The whole apartment is a series of cubes or boxes. The most spectacular is the floating bathroom cube that is an all-glass all-in-one shower plus toilet (the blinds lower for privacy). The master bedroom closes to become its own wooden cube.

The living room/kitchen area has been left open to maximize space, but the kitchen can be closed into a glass cube and a second bedroom closes behind another wooden cube. There’s even a floating vertical garden cube that communicates the two bedrooms.

The space is only 70m2 (753 square feet), but it feels larger thanks in part to many sliding wooden panels that shift to morph the shape of the space. All the wood and transforming furniture give it the feel of the interior of a sailboat, and like boats, all the space is well-utilized. Nearly all of the furniture is built-in and there’s a very tiny, and very thin second bathroom that even tucks a bathtub under the wooden flooring.

The design is very modern, but some of the old fisherman’s home remains in the restored 18th-century front door, Catalan vaults, old beams, and mud bricks.