Outbuilding of the Week: A Tiny Glass Studio in Barcelona by

Issue 26 · Independence Day · June 26, 2015

Outbuilding of the Week: A Tiny Glass Studio in Barcelona

Issue 26 · Independence Day · June 26, 2015

High in the hills above Barcelona, floral designer Manuela Sosa works in a tiny glass greenhouse, with the sky for a ceiling and expansive views of the city below. A story about Manuela's unusual workspace on Freunde von Freunden piqued our interest, so our friend Mimi Giboin took her camera to Spain to investigate further. Serendipitously, she arrived in Barcelona on the day Manuela planned to host a dinner party for friends and colleagues. Here's the report from Mimi:

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista except where noted.

Gang and the Wool Floral Studio Greenhouse Barcelona ; Gardenista

Above: It turns out that a tiny glass work studio can be easily transformed into an open-air dining room—emphasis on open—with a few stylish and simple accessories. Here's how the studio looked before Manuela began setting it up for the party. Photograph by Silva Conde via Freunde von Freunden

Gang and the Wool Barcelona greenhouse work studio Mimi Giboin ; Gardenista

Above: When Mimi arrived, Manuela was preparing for a "Welcome Summer" dinner party. The guests would be some of her favorite wedding planners, florists, and friends. 

Gang and the Wool florist Manuela Sosa Barcelona ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela is a former furniture designer who went to florists' school in Uruguay, where she grew up. She came to Spain out of curiosity, liked it, and stayed. 

Gang and the Wool Barcelona florist ; Gardenista

Above: In Barcelona, Manuela decided to start working with flowers and plants, but she kept the name of her furniture design business—Gang and the Wool—for her new venture.

  Gang and the Wool Mimi Giboin Barcelona ; Gardenista

Above: To reach Manuela's place, you take a train ride from Barcelona followed by a bus ride on a small winding road with the most beautiful views of Barcelona's hills and houses. The bus drops you right in front of her little bungalow.

Gang and the Wool Barcelona view by Mimi Giboin; Gardenista

Above: Manuela's view is outrageous.

  Gang and the Wool greenhouse in Barcelona ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela grew up with greenhouses, since they're common in Uruguay, and always wanted one. One day a friend called from England to tell her about a company that made greenhouses; Manuela bought one a week later. (Unfortunately, the company is no longer in business.) 

Gang and the Wool greenhouse design detail ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela assembled the greenhouse herself. "That's why the door doesn't close properly!" she says.

  Gang and the Wool Barcelona carpenter's work table ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela's grandfather was a carpenter, and this carpenter's work table, bought from a local antique store, reminds her of him every day.

  Gang and the Wool Barcelona florist ; Gardenista

Above: This is Manuela's workplace; you don't pop by here to pick up a bouquet of flowers. But she does welcome visitors who call ahead.

  Gang and the Wool greenhouse shelving ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela stockpiles dishes and crockery to use at the frequent events—from dinners to weddings—she holds at the greenhouse.  

Gang and the wool florist Barcelona supplies tool drawer ; Gardenista

Above: To organize and store her tools, Manuela uses glass jars, wooden fruit crates, and old drawers.

Gang and the Wool Barcelona floral arrangement ; Gardenista

Above: Mimi watched Manuela make table arrangements for the dinner, putting moss and sea holly on slabs of tree trunk, then covering them with glass domes. "I love the little drops," she said when condensation formed on the glass.

  Gang and the Wool dead flowers ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela loves the whole life of a flower: from its young start to the days the petals fall off.

Gang and the Wool greenhouse florist Barcelona ; Gardenista

Above: Manuela's next big project will be to landscape the yard the greenhouse overlooks, adding English pathways and lots of flowing water.

For more of our favorite Outbuildings, see Artemis Russell's Tiny Garden Backyard Studio and A Garden Workshop in Cambridge.

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