This is one of the freshest projects I have seen lately. If you think that open coworking spaces are dull, think again!
Architects Josemaría de Churtichaga and Cayetana de la Quadra-Salcedo of Madrid practice ch+qs were asked by The Hub – a social enterprise that inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a better world – to conceive their social entrepreneurs’ co-working space. And then, the Spanish architects designed the HUB Flat : an untouched 1950s apartment, physically linked through the main condominium and transformed into a contemporary studio and living place.
Inspired by the work of American artist Gordon Matta Clark, the architects used ‘subtraction’ as a means to transform the space. Without loosing the historical features of the 50s flat that we wanted to preserve, ch+qs punctured and carved the walls and doors with holes, allowing communication between spaces. Only two rooms have been preserved without holes, so to maintain the intimacy only needed in the dorms.
“There is a huge hidden work analyzing with 3d tools the size, position, of the geometric forms. We decided to use 2 virtual spheres and a big virtual cone to transform the space in such a way that a new landscape of situations appears…we had to work hard with Sketchup analyzing the way to cross the whole space allowing visions “fugues” and surprising situations.”
“We were in love with an untouched flat from the 50s, a very logic and rational structure of rooms from different sizes along a central corridor…in some way this classic structure allowed us to understand that this was also a good organization for almost any use…we only needed to link more…but without “loosing the flat”…how can we keep and restore in one hand but at the same time transform completely the attitude inside?…this is how we thought…let´s add unphysical forms, space, erase, cut, clean…”
From the architects :
To combine both worlds it was becoming more difficult. So they decided to expand in an apartment available in the same building, just above the Hub … and so appears HUBflat, a complement, support a bubble of concentration to defend and maintain the essence of the entrepreneurial community … and as in the original Hub … the floor was found intact from the 50s.
A floor intact, with tremendous character, very compartmentalized to install a shared workspace … how reform this atmosphere untouched, that domestic scale, the intimate feeling of a Madrid swept by the “design”? … because playing without touching, touching without adding … what if instead of add remove? What we remove? … Remove visual disruption maintaining physical disruption, did a controlled demolition, strategic subtraction using a cone and two spheres acted figures for enjoyment and play devastating eye … the eye
The eye is the instrument, the intermediary of our perception, the eye interprets, reread, uses memory sometimes wanting to see what you have already seen … so you can play with it and we wanted to do in the HUBflat, get a space subject the eye to cheating, to wonder if this is a hole or a mirror, if what you see is the bounce or is beyond, to ask what happens when I move and everything falls back or defaced, altered space, broken , a space also play and surprises, unexpected appearances and visual spark altered perceptions, a space to invite entrepreneurs to play on.
“The eye that you see is not an eye because you see it …
is an eye because it sees “
Photos © Elena Almagro / Daniel Torrello / Churtichaga + Quadra-Salcedo Arquitectos