Upcycled floating kitchen at yök Casa + Cultura in Barcelona, Spain

The kitchens at yök Casa + Cultura are designed to look like a nice piece of furniture, because they are situated in the living room, as guests tend not to cook 5 course meals but rather prepare easy meals and breakfasts. The floating effect helps to make the original floors and ceilings from 1900 stand out. All kitchens are fully equipped with second hand crockery and glassware, recycling bins, organic products like olive oil, eco-friendly cleaning products from the taps of Goccia Verde and an honesty mini-bar with local food products.

© Carlos Barruz for yök

The cupboard doors are made from used pallets, and the countertop is ECO by Cosentino, manufactured from 75% of recycled materials such as mirror, glass, porcelain, earthenware and vitrified ash. LED stips iluminate the countertop, and a seperate line above and below the cupboards serve as the light source for the living room, illuminating the original mosaic floor and ceiling.

yök’s Instagram/via

The PVC free switches and plugs are made locally from porcelain by Fontini. All of the materials are chosen for their durability and low maintenance. The appliances are A+ certified to use as little energy as possible. More about how our guests save energy here.

yök’s Instagram/via

The kitchen faucet is by the same series as our bathroom's, L20 by Roca, equipped with aerators and Cold Start.

© Carlos Barruz for yök

We serve complimentary filtered tap water in reusable glass bottles from our office upstairs. Jute shopping bags help guests go shopping without plastic bags. Check out 10 ways to make your kitchen more green for more ideas!

yök Casa + Cultura office before and after

The eco-renovation of yök Casa + Cultura is still in full swing but this week we moved into our office. This small (35m2) yet multi-functional space, equipped with a kitchen and toilet, serves as our reception as well as event space. The best thing about it: our terrace, overlooking Barcelona.

imageyök Casa + Cultura’s Instagram/via

Up here on the 8th floor, an extension from the 70ies to the original building from 1900, there wasn’t much to salvage. However, we decided to restore the traditional terrazzo we discovered under a glued layer of cork in order to save extra material like for example a cement or wooden floor.

imageyök’s Instagram/via

In order to make the space cosier, we added wood to the interior. Our carpenter David used some salvaged timber sleepers he obtained from the Catalonia Railway Museum in Vilanova, a nearby town, and turned them into a beautiful interior.

imageyök Casa + Cultura’s Instagram/via

The kitchen countertop, ECO by Cosentino, is also made in Spain, from upcycled material such as mirror, glass, porcelain, earthenware and vitrified ash. The company claims that 94% of the water used in its manufacturing process is re-used. We also like that it is highly durable and easy to maintain.

imageyök Casa + Cultura’s Instagram/via

All our appliances are energy-efficient and A+ or A++ certified. The AC, which we hope to use only in the very hot or very cold weeks, is also A+ certified, both for heating and cooling. In order to minimise the use of the AC/heater, we made sure we can cross ventilate the space. Insulation is also key. The ceiling is insulated with a layer of Isonat wood fibres and Knauf’s A+ certified low-VOC drywall. We installed new wooden doors with double glasing and are in the process of installing a plant pergola on the terrace to create shade on the outside facade. If our budget allows it, we will install a vertical garden to further insulate the space from the outside.

imageyök Casa + Cultura’s Instagram/via

We also took care of basic things like VOC-free paint and a DIY lighting installation made from a minimum use of material and LED light bulbs. Our light switches and plugs (large image above), collection 5.1 designed by Oriol Guimerá for Font Barcelona, are made locally from brushed stainless steel which makes them very long lasting and recyclable.

We use second hand objects and locally made furniture from certified wood, and are looking forward to receiving the clamp-a-legs by DE VORM, to make flexible tables with salvaged table tops.

Although we had our doubts about Roca’s w+w toilet (a toilet with an integrated sink and gray water recycling system) due to the large amount of material it uses and its high price, we realised that it was the only way we could have the bathroom in the small space suitable for it. Of course we like the fact that it recycles the gray water.

imageyök Casa + Cultura’s Instagram/via

Barcelona’s tap water isn’t very nice to drink unfiltered, so to avoid bottled water we installed reverse osmosis. The wastewater is being collected in a tank on the roof so that we can use it to water the plants and for cleaning. The kitchen tap, L20 by Roca, has an integrated aerator and cold-start.

On our to do list are bee-friendly plants on the terrace to help cool down the place while providing food for urban bees, and, a washing line to dry our clothes energy-free. All of this will be ready when yök Casa + Cultura opens the apartments from july 28th!

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch Surviving Progress now!!

We are excited about this conference at Roca Gallery in May: The Context of Sustainable Architecture. We believe yök fits right into debates like The meaning of architecture without new buildings andThe Green Lie. Can the frog be honest, please?

Happy Sant Jordi!! In Catalonia, the tradition is to give books and roses on Saint George’s day. Inèdit Innovació published an interesting study about the different environmental impacts of cut roses. Depending on the system of cultivation, its origin and the transportation, the CO2 emissions vary. Thus, some roses have a carbon footprint up to 6 times higher than others.

Since 1970, the 22nd of April is Earth Day! 2014 is the year of Green Cities; let’s celebrate and act!! Image above: Pogo. More info: Earth Day / Wikipedia, Día de la Tierra Barcelona.

We just discovered Works that Work, a magazine in english and spanish “for the curious mind, intending to surprise its readers with a rich mix of diverse subjects connected by the theme of unexpected creativity that improved our lives.” Finally in-depth design stories and not just pretty pictures!

Green Drinks Barcelona is back! The first get-together is this thursday, february 27th from 7pm at Apocapoc co-working. Come along!

 We took a pledge and are excited to add these books to the yök library!

We agree with the article that “Sustainability measures, in other words, work. When applied correctly, they work to cut overhead, and they don’t offend or scare away guests, even in hotels known for their luxury accommodations in every sense of the word.”

You can download Goodwin’s critical and concerning talk about the future of Tourism in Barcelona, and the slideshow here. He says: “many in the industry are in denial that tourism is bringing economic, social and environmental pollution. It has to be managed.” We agree.