elii [oficina de arquitectura]


097 · Yojigen Poketto

“4D Pocket”

Complete refurbishment of an apartment in Madrid


* Finalist Archdaily's 2018 Building of the Year Awards, in the Interior Architecture Category

* Shortlisted for Premis Fad 2018

Complete refurbishment of an apartment in Madrid

A dual strategy is applied to this project:

Firstly, the floor plan arrangement is based on an L-shaped service band that integrates the access, wet areas, storage areas and leisure spaces. This frees up the main area, which opens up to the windows and balconies to create a brightly lit atmosphere. The intimate areas are therefore secluded and sheltered from view from the entrance.

On the other hand, the apartment is arranged into two levels: the level at the elevation of the entrance and the main room, plus a second level, 90 centimetres higher up, extending beyond the kitchen surface, where the leisure area and the bathroom are located. The two elevations not only allow different atmospheres to be arranged, but also integrate ‘additional’ functions in the house, such as a deep bathtub in the bathroom, a storage area under the bed, part of the facilities, etc, thus optimising every cubit metre of the house. Secret trapdoors extend the storage space in the overhead areas. A portable stepladder/furniture item is used to overcome the difference in elevation, add storage spaces and double as small grandstands in the living room.

All in all, the proposal gains the corner of the building, floods it with natural lighting and views to the street, both the deep horizon and the street-level perspective, from the overhead areas. Openings in the furniture extend the indoor cross views from the upper area.

The various elevations sport different finishes that produce specific atmospheres. Light colours are used on the walls of the main area to provide as much light as possible. The floor is made of linoleum. The bedroom area has wood finishes and includes a projector on the roof that projects onto a screen from the bed. The bathroom walls, floor and bathtub have a mirror finish to fill this indoor area with light and to augment the feeling of depth.


1. Yojigen Poketto. The ‘Yojigen Poketto’ (literally, ‘4D pocket’) is the pocket of anime character Doraemon, from where he pulls amazing items from the future.

Extraordinary spaces to access the future.

2. Backdrop (1). Backdrop is the name of a circus or wrestling figure that involves landing on one’s back, and then taking a step back while bouncing.

A simple backdrop separates the leisure area and main spaces.

3. Backdrop (2). Backdrop is also a theatre term for an upstage curtain. It is painted to represent a scene.

Every house is a theatre, and architecture is its backdrop.

4. Backdrops (3). The different finishes of each level configure the various atmospheres.

Different atmospheres for different everyday scenes.

5. Gradient. The rooms are arranged by elevation.

Instead of walls, elevation changes.

6. Secret doors. The project includes secret trapdoors.

Doraemon’s pockets… yojigen poketto!

  • Architects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué, Eva Gil, Carlos Palacios
  • Team leader:
  • elii - Ana López
  • Team:
  • elii - Eduardo Castillo + Lucía Fernández
  • Construction:
  • Aniceto Jiménez
  • Joinery:
  • Alfredo Merino Caldas
  • Developers:
  • Diana Díaz, Luis Arenas
  • Models:
  • Carlos Cañete, Ana López, Lucía Fernández
  • Fotography:
  • Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
  • Size:
  • 33,60m2
  • Date:
  • 2017
  • Location:
  • Madrid