Looking for a second home in Barcelona? Then off to Yök Casa + Cultura. First of all: the YÖK is not a hotel in the traditional sense. Hotel manager Mari Marañís Rodríguez and ecodesigner Petz Scholtus have realized their shared dream with the YÖK apartments: to create a beautiful, design-oriented and at the same time environmentally friendly place to receive like-minded people. With YÖK, a place has been created where locals and visitors can meet and share things and thoughts - and of course have fun!
In 2014, Rodríguez and Scholtus renovated three apartments in an old Catalan apartment building in the most beautiful way imaginable - without losing sight of the history of the place. The old-fashioned building from the 19th century has a charming facade, beautiful balconies and rooms with three meters fifty high ceilings. The interior of the rooms is reduced and extremely stylish. Every single piece of furniture has been deliberately chosen and has its own story.
The kitchen, which is made from recycled materials like many other things, has everything you need to cook deliciously and also has a selection of local food and drinks that guests can use. All three apartments of the YÖK are on the third floor. Although localized in the middle of Barcelona: when you look out of the window you see trees. On the eighth floor is the roof terrace, which offers a fantastic view of the Sagrada Familia and the sea. Cultural events take place regularly on the terrace, such as organic wine tastings or the Catalan-Scottish Festival, where you can enjoy delicacies and literature from both countries. Visitors are welcome to do this.
Rodríguez and Scholtus attach great importance to looking after their guests, bringing them together with other locals or recommending the places of interest in Barcelona. If you want to get to know the city far from mass tourism, the YÖK is definitely the right place.
ArchitectureEcodesigner Petz Scholtus came into the hotel business after a crisis of meaning: she didn't want to create more products, but wanted to create a sustainable living space for people. Their credo is the reuse of materials that have already been used - but without looking like recycling. Accordingly, existing materials were reused wherever possible when renovating the apartments: parts of the old wooden doors can now be found in the headrests of the beds and the old lamps were simply rewired. Recycled materials were also used in the kitchen: they were made from old pallets and the work surface was recycled. Furniture and furnishings consist of a mix of second-hand goods, such as the mirror or sink, and handmade ecodesign pieces by local artisans. Great efforts have been made to restore and protect the original 19th-century mosaic floors. New walls were laid over the old tiles so that - in the event that someone wants to do it in a hundred years - the original condition can be restored without damaging the floor. The same applies to the decorations on the ceilings. The focus is on awareness and respect for the history of the place. The YÖK is a real piece of Barcelona.
In order to compensate for the CO2 emissions caused by the renovation of the apartments, Rodríguez and Scholtus had several trees planted in a national park. They want to repeat this every year in order to be able to keep ongoing operations CO2 neutral. Some of the design pieces in the YÖK apartments were made in cooperation with a workshop in Barcelona, which reintegrates the homeless into working life. Guests who like the furniture can purchase these pieces from the workshop.
EnvironmentThe managers of the Yök take an environmentally friendly approach. In the YÖK, only electrical appliances with a grade A are used, i.e. those that work particularly energy-saving. The same applies to the air conditioning and LED lighting. An automatic system was also installed that switches off the air conditioning / heating as soon as a window is opened. The apartments are supplied by a green electricity provider. Water saving devices are installed on all taps and shower heads. In the YÖK office, the process water from the sink is recycled to flush the toilet. Shopping baskets are available for guests so that they can do without plastic bags. Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, visitors can fill their own drinking containers with filtered tap water. Recycling is made easy for visitors at YÖK: the appropriate containers and instructions are available everywhere. The comfortable beds are made of 100 percent natural materials. Only environmentally friendly products are used for cleaning. The Yök Apartments website is hosted on the climate-neutral Acorn platform. Wherever possible, existing materials were used in the renovation, for example the paint was removed from all wooden windows, they were given new railings and double glazing to save energy and reduce noise. The use of PVC was avoided as much as possible. A bee-friendly pergola provides shade on the roof terrace.
Casa Yök is very centrally located, just a 10-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya. From the airport, you can either take a taxi to Casa Yök (approx. 16 km away) or use public transport (to Urquinaona station).
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