The eccentric offices of MediaLab Prado open in Madrid

Langarita-Navarro arquitectos recover the building of “La Serrería Belga”

by Malcolm Clark
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The Medialab-Prado designed by the young Spanish architectural office langarita-navarro arquitectos opens in Madrid on Paseo del Arte. Media-Lab is a space intended to accommodate and promote activities of production, investigation and dissemination of digital culture within art, science and technology.

The centre is located in the Serrería Belga, a 1920s building, designed by architect Manuel Álvarez Naya, and represents one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete structures in the Spanish capital. The restoration and renovation of the complex has many similarities to another recent intervention of the Spanish duo, the Red Bull Music Academy inside the Matadero in Madrid.

Fluorescent colours, clean lines and predominant role of the connecting elements between environments. The project is characterized by the inclusion of three blocks, one in the middle, called "La Cosa" (The thing), which houses the main staircases and two located in the side bays, hosting services and classrooms.

Considering the intervention as a stratification in time of different levels. Lightweight and removable construction systems, as well as materials which do not affect future transformations, in terms of their durability and adaptability, were chosen” explain the designers María Langarita and Víctor Navarro Ríos “We looked at each new element added as an opportunity to incorporate support for creative research.”

With this way of design, the result is a building whose formal coherence is in the strong differentiation in terms of materials and colour, reducing the existing structure to a skeleton to take advantage of the large bays for flexible and multi-functional spaces.

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    Medialab-Prado 34

    Medialab-Prado

    Madrid / Spain / 2012