Generally speaking, most inner-city apartments feature sociable areas like a lounge and dining room, while the bathroom is much more private. Bathyard home turns this expectation on its head. The Madrid apartment was re-arranged by Husos Architects to make the bathroom into the focal point of the home and an area for hanging out with friends.

Taking a typical 1900-era Madrid apartment with a total floorspace of 130 sq m (1,400 sq ft), Husos Architects (and construction firm Atipical) demolished the non load-bearing partition walls to create a totally new layout. The team then reoriented the interior toward the south to maximize natural light and heat from the sun, while also installing new insulation and underfloor heating.

The home is simply furnished, and includes two bedrooms, a lounge, study, dining area, and a kitchen, but the bathroom is the most interesting room. It comprises a social area with bathtub and an additional smaller room with toilet and shower.

As the owner is a keen gardener, an indoor greenhouse is located next to the south-facing window, while a movable table and novel pull-down bench are available for visitors. An oculus opens onto the lounge to promote cross-ventilation and provide a visual link between the two areas.

"With simple modifications, the project reoriented a large part of the house to the south," explains Husos Architects. "This was achieved by creating a new type of domestic interior: a bathyard, a space that generates a new 'exterior' inside the apartment and lends passive thermal and light comfort to the entire home.

"It is a place where different activities can overlap and be shared, such as trying on clothes, enjoying breakfast, or having a conversation while one is taking a bath and the other is sitting on the folding bench."

Husos Architects reports that the new layout, in addition to the new insulation it fitted and the re-orientation toward the south, combine to maintain the interior temperature at around 18° C (64.5° F) during most winter days without using the underfloor heating.

The Bathyard home was completed in 2015. The video below, by Imagen Subliminal, shows it in use.

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