Abandoned Garage became Madrid's Hub Offices19. Apr2011
An intact, untouched garage since the 1940s which was in poor condition has been transformed by + + (referred further as CH+QS architects) into timeshare offices for social entrepreneurs that seek to change the world! Madrid Hub Offices is located between two key train stations in Madrid, where the heart of the city beats.
A rather casually untouched interior design approach was followed which day by day is apparently gaining more fans; instead of completely remodeling and upgrading the interior, architects decided to leave it largely the way it was. Leaving the paint peeled off the walls, but finishing it off with special resin to keep it intact, keeping the engravings, the scores and scratches are all elements of this rather casually untouched interior design approach.
The tone was set by the existing interior shell of the former garage, the poured concrete walls and ceiling. CH+QS architects considered whether they would be able to not alter or obscure the layers of life within this space, with virtually no design. Keeping in mind this in progress canvas, architects upgraded the space in order to provide functionality and sustainability.
The former abandoned garage has been upgraded and transformed into a sustainable, energy efficient space which has initiated a recycling program. With the environmental challenges posed upon us nowadays, the architects wanted to explore and intervene with new ways to restore buildings in the 21st century in an energy efficient way. By isolating the interior shell and by adding an underfloor heating and cooling system the hub provides an efficient way of heating which is relatively cheap to install, and the heat is distributed evenly around the space. Large planks of wood were installed for the flooring instead of the existing cement; this way, the hub gives a warm yet homely feel. Natural daylight is provided most of the daytime in the open plan central room through a skylight which set in. The open plan central room serves as the main collaboration and work space, while side rooms have been constructed of steel creating a form of an interior mezzanine; the side rooms are lined with recycled wool felt and serve as the private meeting, media and work rooms. The interior of the hub has been furnished with recycled furniture, and almost nothing new was purchased.The hub owners donated their used furniture creating a vintage furnishing arrangement. Modular arrangements were designed from wooden fruit crates, which have been also used as stools, support, a coffee table and shelves; moreover, a ticket box and a ladder has been designed from the wooden fruit crates which act as a kind of '' to fill in the furniture gaps! The hub is not only a shared workspace; it provides a gathering space for social and cultural activities for the neighborhood making it a unique multifunctional space where the heart of Madrid beats.