Bridge Gaps
One of Valencia’s historic neighborhoods
Posted on: 05-31-2024 by Elizabeth Yokel


The primary reason that El Cabañal (Also spelled: El Cabanyal) remains one of Valencia’s historic neighborhood is because the town still conserves its traditional architecture with a colourful use of ceramic tiles on the façades and interiors of its buildings. On this theme, WOW Design’s ceramic tiles are what recapture the tile's vintage aesthetics during the period with an original tile mosaic that represents the foam of a sea wave. Interior design studio Saramar Home was the organization chosen to refurbish the entire building; although it was ultimately decided to conserve the original tiled façade for the project; a family home in El Cabañal; Valencia’s former fishermen’s quarter.



It was made up of rows of rustic houses, replaced, in the early 20th century, with small traditional houses richly decorated with glazed tiles and built in charming Art Deco style. These cultural legacies played an important role in the refurbishment of the family home; one of the many traditional houses all of which intermingle within this culturally vibrant, buzzing seaside neighborhood. Its Modernist façades reflect the colors and light of this period. So it was decided to conserve the main façade with its hand-painted tiles and to rebuild the interiors using traditional materials.



The house stands on a narrow plot, just three and a half metres wide. Hence, the aim of the design project was to take as much advantage as possible of the available space, leading to the creation of 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and loft space. It's a through plot, with two parallel frontages on two streets and the house has a covered garage, a courtyard, and a small swimming pool to make the most of the weather in this Mediterranean city. Ceramic tiles reflect local roots and lend this house a strong Mediterranean appeal. Handmade tiles, artisanal exposed brick and the terracotta shades of the chosen tile models are all signature looks within Valencia, El Cabañal and these seaside homes.




Indeed, tiles play a prominent role in the newly refurbished home, tying in with the façade and the history of the building. The ground floor is clad in porcelain tiles; this is evocative of handmade terracotta with a unique continuous design. These delicate diamond-shaped tiles in white and earthy shades, which are used in combination to form this rich mosaic.


According to the architect, it is a picturesque visual, which represents the foam of a sea wave breaking onto the sand, that ensures seamless continuity throughout the ground floor and adds a refreshing touch of luminosity and movement. To maintain the traditional appearance of the building, the exposed brickwork was conserved and then painted white; except where it could not be preserved where it was replaced with newly manufactured brick-effect tiles. Matt white tiles were used on the kitchen walls behind the living room sofa, within the courtyard and on the first-floor main bedroom walls. The materials, furniture and interiors all lend it a welcoming, Mediterranean air. Clearly, its design (indoors and outdoors) ushers in a refreshing take on traditional architecture and landscape of this historic beachside neighborhood.





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