A Work of Art Uncovered

This is the most incredible home - an 18th-century flat in the middle of Barcelona owned by architect Benedetta Tagliabue and her family. When Milan-born Tagliabue discovered the building it was in a terrible state. Situated in a part of the old town which was perceived to be for families who did not have the means to move to the brighter new burbs, it had been owned by the same family for generations. The owner at the time lived uptown and had never set foot in the flat. The previous occupants had knocked down interior walls and the floor and ceiling were collapsing.

The first priority, once they bought the residence, was to make it structurally safe. But as the architects peeled away the walls like an onion, a frieze of vivid 18th-century decorative murals was revealed. These and countless other period elements that were discovered have been left to revel in their deteriorated state. The amazing light created by the central patio, and the delightful patterned tiles found throughout have helped to lift the home to almost mythical status among the city's most respected designers and architects. And to think that Benedetta and her husband bought their beautiful home for the same price as they would've a modest two-bedroom apartment in another part of the city.