INTERIORS _ During the last Milan Design Week Francesca Molteni has curated an interesting installation named Where architects live, showing contemporary architects’ own concepts of the domestic space.
But what about Where architects work? How do architects shape their shelters to increase their creativity and facilitate the development of a friendly and comfortable environment?
For this first chapter of our investigation we look around Spain to find out more about the most innovative spaces to suit architects as clients.
Where do you feel more inspired in the middle of the woods or on the edge of a pool?
Around the court
The Studio renovation by MAIO involves the conversion of a space that formerly housed a washing place into an open studio for professionals from different fields of architecture and design. The existing 40-meter long building was a continuous space, with variable sections and extremely poor lighting. Hence, the proposal focuses on the opening of a patio, literally conceived as an outer room, to improve the interior lighting. This outer room divides the 40 meters of the initial space into two areas. The front area is open to the street and left empty to accommodate activities related to the public, such as meetings, events, exhibitions ... - while the rear side houses a 12,5-meter long table and is intended as the main workspace.
Lost in the woodland
"What is being sought with Selgascano Office is quite simple: work under the trees. To do so, we need a roof that is as transparent as possible. Also, at the same time, we need to isolate the desk zone from direct sunlight. Hence the transparent northern part. The part that is covered with a bent sheet of 20mm colourless plexiglass on the north side. The south side, where the desks are, has to be closed in much more, but not completely, so there is double sheet of fibreglass and polyester in its natural colour on the south side, with translucent insulation in the middle." Selgascano Arquitectos
Ábaton Oficina/Showroom is located in the outskirts of Madrid. The plot has many outstanding oak trees and is next to some well established buildings. The main objective was that the building itself be a landmark within the estate and to show ÁBATON Arquitectura's work in a neat and symbolic manner. It is a multi-purpose area that has a show-room, offices and the construction company's warehouse. The concrete façade was set back and a tree-lined area was given over to a public path suggesting a friendly environment.
Situated in Parc dels Torrents one of the best urban interventions in the city of Espluges, the Espai Baronda complex by Alonso & Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados, has arisen from the recovery of a piece of authentic "architectural archaeology"; an old ceramics factory which fell into disuse more than two decades ago, in a city like Esplugues, with such a deep-rooted tradition in ceramics. Espai Baronda appears as a grand container for activities and spaces favouring the synergies of the companies involved in building, architecture and several Engineering companies, with multiple shared complementary services (restaurants, board rooms, an auditorium, parking, security services, etc.).
In 1973 Ricardo Bofill found a disused cement factory, an industrial complex from the turn of the century consisting of over 30 silos, subterranean galleries and huge machine rooms, and he decided to transform it into the head office of Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura Headquarters. Remodelling work lasted two years. The factory, abandoned and partially in ruins, was a compendium of surrealist elements: stairs that climbed up to nowhere, mighty reinforced concrete structures that sustained nothing, pieces of iron hanging in the air, huge empty spaces filled nonetheless with magic. The transformation process began with the demolition of part of the old structure to leave hitherto concealed forms visible, as if the concrete had been sculpted. Once the spaces had been defined, cleaned of cement and encompassed by new greenery, the process began of adaptation to the new programme.