Greenpeace Spain Offices

Greenpeace Spain transfers its headquarters to an old warehouse with hardly any light or natural ventilation. The redesign project will have a decisive impact on the ability of Greenpeace to offer a workspace that responds to the philosophy, expectations and objectives of the organization. In some way, Greenpeace has to transfer to the street Valores 1 not only its headquarters and its workers, but its aspirations.

The lack of light in the space does not depend solely on its semi-buried position. The biggest problem is because their facades are very far from each other. The space is very regular, which gives it some flexibility, but too wide and deep. Likewise, despite being an old warehouse, it does not have overhead light, as is the case in most industrial warehouses, originally dedicated to this use. For all this, the space does not seem suitable to us to host, without changes, a contemporary workspace.

It is impossible to incorporate light and ventilation in a “natural” way, through facades or roofs, since the partial rental model of a property, as is the case, does not allow substantial changes in its shape, arrangement or structure. We therefore think that we must incorporate light, air, nature in a somewhat more artificial way, making the most of the signs and facilities provided by the preexistence.

We propose to introduce a “street” inside the space, following the direction of the main entrance. This street will not only distribute people, but also light, air, energy, vegetation and, in general, all the systems that build and condition the space. In some ways it is as if the Greenpeace workers are introducing, with their insistence and will, a glimpse of nature through the entrance.

We propose to reuse all the existing fluorescence luminaries, concentrating them nevertheless on the ceiling of this interior street, in such a way that they illuminate an interior garden. The air is pushed through a fabric duct located on the ceiling of this street, while the extraction is carried out through the northern and southern walls of the premises. The blown air is cleaned as it passes through the interior vegetation, before it is filtered into the work and meeting spaces. In summer, a more humid environment will be in this street, which, in a dry climate like Madrid, helps to lower the temperature by evaporation. In winter, heat accumulated due to the energy produced by outside insolation, interior lighting and heat sources such as computers and kitchens, will take time to dissipate thanks to the few facades and windows, as well as an intelligent use of thermal insulation.

Greenpeace Office Relocation

In 2016, Greenpeace Spain plans to move its offices, until then located in a rented first floor in a block on Calle San Bernardo, in Madrid. Greenpeace asked us to carry out a feasibility study to decide between the different options they were considering. After a detailed analysis of the different possibilities, we opted for a disused industrial warehouse, located in Calle Salamanca, for which we carried out different simulations of occupation, organization and operation.


Factoria Cultural Madrid

Factoría Cultural is the adaptation of a hall in Matadero Madrid to house an incubator of creative industries start-ups. We used very few, cheap, and easy to install materials, and we tried to achieve with them as many different and distinct work areas as possible, adapted to different needs. Three volumes near the entrance organize the space, folding and compressing the circulations around it. This creates a gradient, from compact to expansive, from busy to silent, that helps achieve variety in workspaces. In a little less than one month we built a reversible, vacuum-packed, 105-eur/m2 work, adaptable to the multitude of situations the client asked for.

To house the needed 120 workspaces in a 399 sq. m. floor area (that needed to be further reduced to 340 sq. m. in order to maintain a public pass-through) was impossible, unless we found more space using the height of the hall. This created additional problems since there was not enough money to achieve the construction of a second floor by traditional means. We decided to use very simple building systems: the cheapest local pine lumber, all in the same standard size, which simplified the supply and construction of the structure, and multi-wall polycarbonate, very lightweight and in large sheets, which allowed for the walls to be finished in just one day. We were able to achieve 85 more sq.m and crucially to split functions in two levels, which allows for more flexibility in use that the client is now making very good use of.


Civil Registry of Madrid

There is probably no other building with as much pressure from visitors throughout the Campus of Justice as the Civil Registry. The huge flow of users to the Registry makes natural to perceive it as a continuation of the public space of the Campus. It is difficult to understand the Civil Registry as a building of ordinary offices when, unlike the others buildings located on the Campus, most of its surface is for public access. We decided that the Archive of the Civil Registry, by its importance and size, should become the structuring element and the server of the rest of the space, instead of a mere basement. Circulations become clearer and more efficient if public access occurs closer to the center of gravity. The typical offices building, with its repeated slabs and partitions is a riddle for the large number of visitors that require its use. On the contrary, the Archive, manipulated and raised, can serve as a large structural floor at the scale of the Campus public space, simplifying the structure of the building. The façade surface of the building becomes a third smaller than expected, which leads to savings in construction and energy consumption. The building closes to prepare and use a part of the park: it is almost as if the citizen did their paperwork in the Retiro park. The skin is made by a double layer of ETFE cushions, with a heat exchange chamber inside and programmable solar control devices. The continuation of the park and the public space of the Campus inside the building creates an ideal winter garden for the celebration of weddings. They will have an accidental enthusiast audience as they wait to resolve their own issues.


The site in Massachusetts included two Victorian mansions surrounded by a manicured lawn. To the client, the new laboratory should not alter the “natural environment.” Our impression, however, was one of great artificiality. The project stemmed from the idea of horticulture, like biotechnology, an example of the “natural-artificial” blur. The new cultivation areas houses underneath them the perfect volumes of the laboratories. The roofs continue the existing pedestrian landscape, forming a labyrinth of pathways. A large cylindrical glass passageway united the two Victorian buildings, passing through the various laboratory rooms, offering visitors the experience of moving through a representative section of the building and the activity within. Aside from small crops associated to the laboratories, the ground floor that extends over the roof of the building houses other activities, such as exercise loop, mini-golf, etc.

Spy House

In reality, the Spy House in Princeton is a combination of office space and home for a commercial spy. The domestic space serves as a camouflage for the work that is taking place inside, subverting the assumed relationships between the public and private spheres. The domestic envelope of this project offers an illusion of casual private quarters for the more public activity it houses. This simultaneous act of encasement and exposure creates a space that becomes more secretive than the most intimate corner of a home, acknowledging the impossibility of complete privacy. The plans of the home were adapted from other, pre-existing, and well-known projects, becoming an exercise of appropriation typical of espionage