In the beginning, there were two separate entities of one Barcelona property: a store on the ground floor and an apartment overhead. But its setting in the city's Gracia District, which is home to Gaudi's famous Parc Güell, was a prime location — the owner knew the building was better served as a two-story home. RÄS Studio was hired to unite the functionally independent units into a single residence, while honoring "the clients' goal to respect the identity of the estate," architect Clàudia Fuglsang-Madsen said. But turning a commercial space reachable from the street into a home came with its own share of struggles. The team embraced the storefront as a small patio, and crafted an opening large enough to install a metal staircase that united the two sites. With the living areas on the ground floor and private rooms above, they then took care to preserve as much of the original building as they could. They discovered original brickwork and intertwined it with traditional iron and terracotta, and blended areas with shared textures and natural light, too. At just over 1,460 square feet, the property is no longer closed off. It's an unlikely, but beautiful, home.