A decade ago, Christian Schallert transformed a rundown Barcelona apartment into a home that could transform according to each use. We called it the “LEGO apartment” for our video which went viral (nearly 30 million views) and Schallert was quickly overwhelmed with requests to stay. Soon he was renting not only his apartment but over a dozen more in Barcelona and Madrid and had recognized his dream to open a hotel.
After a tip from a friend about an old building on Barcelona’s Montjuïc mountain for sale, Schallert sold his “LEGO apartment” and began to restore the building (which included a public parking garage) into a twenty-room boutique hotel with a lap pool, brunch spot to bridge the gap with locals and the 13-square-meter (140-square-foot) “Petit Penthouse” inspired by his original flat. The interior design was inspired by Schallert’s travels to Sri Lanka and the country’s architect Geoffrey Bawa and his “tropical modernism”.
Today, Hotel Brummell is on Tripadvisor’s top ten list for Barcelona, but Christian likes to keep the environment casual and hired friends and “friends of friends” to work with him.