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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Warehouse 8B in Madrid, Spain by Arturo Franco Office

 
June 16th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Arturo Franco Office

In a small warehouse of the old slaughterhouse of Madrid, warehouse 8B, the tiles in bad condition have been removed from the roof, been stacked and been put inside to solve a problem. This could be the summary of the intervention.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

  • Architect: Arturo Franco Office
  • Project: Warehouse 8B
  • Location: C/ PASEO DE LA CHOPERA, 14. NAVE 8B. ANTIGUO MATADERO LEGAZPI. 28045 MADRID.
  • construction schedule: January 2009_December 2009
  • Project’s collaborator: Diego Castellanos. (interior architect), Yolanda Ferrero. (architect)
  • Site Supervisor and Quantity Surveyor: Jose H. Largo Díaz. DITE SL.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

  • Photographer/s: Carlos Fernandez Piñar.
  • Developer/Owner: ARTS COUNCIL OF MADRID CITY COUNCIL
  • Construction Company: PECSA.s.a.
  • Period for completion: 8 months
  • Work budget: 500.000 €.
  • Intervention area: 1.000 m2
  • Furnishing budget: Not contracted except locksmith’s work designed by the office and included in global budget.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

The priority of the intervention was to replace a roof of flat shingle tiles over boards and successively patched thin, hollow bricks, to carry out a structural reinforcement of the whole set, and to fit out the indoors, thermally and acoustically, so as to provide service to the new uses. This process had been followed before in some other warehouses of the slaughterhouse and, as a result, mountains of tile, timber, cladding and granite slab rubble piled up waiting to be taken to the dump.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

I prefer to think that this project emerged from opportunity, from discovering an opportunity in that rubble.In the path of exploring all the reasonable possibilities, the construction system turns into a project generator, in the place where a certain ethic view on rehabilitation rests, before architecture.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

The absence of some bonding elements produce lattices, the passing of light. Sometimes a whole piece for the walls, others, half a piece for the claddings. The problem of the corners, the lintels. The universal problems that architecture faces arise. At the same time and with the same intensity the workforce and imperfection appear. The imperfection of man and the old, the recovered. I recall a naïve order given on the building site: “Twist yourself José, it doesn’t matter” and an answer, a lecture from the site manager: “I won’t twist! There will always be time for that!” A job of many, full of vibrations. The vibrations of the collective craftsmen, the craftsman that Richard Sennett claims.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

Like that cottage in the woods by the Swedish architect Ralph Erskine, where he piled trunks to protect himself from the harshness of winter, this project is also bioclimatic. It is bioclimatic because the tile contributes to the thermal and acoustic comfort and it’s sustainable because it reinvents itself with what it has within range. It is bioclimatic like architecture of a small country village, like those hearth-chimneys lined with clay that can be found in the province of Soria.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

Report

In a small warehouse of the old slaughterhouse of Madrid, warehouse 8B, the tiles in bad condition have been removed from the roof, been stacked and been put inside to solve a problem. This could be the summary of the intervention.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

The slaughterhouse of Madrid was projected around 1907 and built during the second decade of the 20th century by Luis Bellido, municipal architect. For almost sixty years it served as a great pantry for the centre area. During this time it demonstrated its functional virtues and its special characteristics only too well.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

With the passing of time, the style applied to its façades, has become a more questionable matter, as it is far from the first approximations to the Modern Movement that was already being explored in this sort of industrial building in Germany, Holland or France. During the eighties, the slaughterhouse was moved to the outskirts of the city. The small “industrial city” projected by Bellido fell into neglect and oblivion. For the past few years, the town council of Madrid has been trying to convert this deteriorated complex into an avant-garde cultural engine for the city.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

Warehouse 8B will be the space destined for administrative management. It will be composed of a small working area, a stockroom and a multi-purpose space for talks or presentations. Originally they were back-up rooms for the storage of waste produced in warehouse no.8, where skins and salted meat were dried. A minor warehouse but of great spatial interest.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

The priority of the intervention was to replace a roof of flat shingle tiles over boards and successively patched thin, hollow bricks, to carry out a structural reinforcement of the whole set, and to fit out the indoors, thermally and acoustically, so as to provide service to the new uses. This process had been followed before in some other warehouses of the slaughterhouse and, as a result, mountains of tile, timber, cladding and granite slab rubble piled up waiting to be taken to the dump.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

I prefer to think that this project emerged from opportunity, from discovering an opportunity in that rubble. In the path of exploring all the reasonable possibilities, the construction system turns into a project generator, in the place where a certain ethic view on rehabilitation rests, before architecture.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

How does that found object work? How does the flat shingle tile work? How is it stacked? How is it bonded? What are its organoleptic characteristics, its weight? How do they join? These are some of the questions that arise during the process. The absence of some bonding elements produce lattices, the passing of light. Sometimes a whole piece for the walls, others, half a piece for the claddings. The problem of the corners, the lintels. The universal problems that architecture faces arise. At the same time and with the same intensity the workforce and imperfection appear. The imperfection of man and the old, the recovered. I recall a naïve order given on the building site: “Twist yourself José, it doesn’t matter” and an answer, a lecture from the site manager: “I won’t twist! There will always be time for that!” A job of many, full of vibrations. The vibrations of the collective craftsmen, the craftsman that Richard Sennett claims.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

Like that cottage in the woods by the Swedish architect Ralph Erskine, where he piled trunks to protect himself from the harshness of winter, this project is also bioclimatic. It is bioclimatic because the tile contributes to the thermal and acoustic comfort and it’s sustainable because it reinvents itself with what it has within range. It is bioclimatic like architecture of a small country village, like those hearth-chimneys lined with clay that can be found in the province of Soria.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

It’s an intervention that intends to respect a valid spatial configuration, without adulterating it. It is proof of the power of architecture as a qualified container, independent from its uses, of the circumstantial uses. It’s a classic concept, everlasting in space, which has nothing to do with classicism, nor necessarily with Italy. Against the intended traditional “national” style that Luis Bellido applied to façades, in this case, on the inside, the style is diluted, it ceases to be heir of the old Madrid School. Order, opportunity, engagement, contention or clarity without any previous formal will. An unknown field to me, beyond the project, beyond any intention.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

The architect’s prominence takes a step back, it abandons architecture in time. History is pendular and helical, if we assume it has three dimensions.  This project undoes some paths already travelled, it intends to reach meeting points. It advances by retreating, like rowers, that are looking backwards, like Oteiza explained. From the Spanish tile, which was designed using a woman’s thigh as a mould, and from its manual laying, take over came about by industrialized application and its flat (tile) version. Now, the industrialized elements, lifeless, are understood in another way, de-contextualized and laid from the predictability of manual labour.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

This project tries to understand architecture as an intellectual, cultural and ethical experience. Not to be mistaken with a social or political stance.

Image Courtesy Carlos Fernández Piñar

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Category: Warehouse

One Response to “Warehouse 8B in Madrid, Spain by Arturo Franco Office”

  1. This home has been perfectly designed and very beautiful.

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