this intervention by taller de casqueria marks part of an ongoing series by the spanish practice to protect and reactivate the industrial heritage of madrid. involving the conversion of an existing industrial space in the city into an artist’s workshop and dwelling, the pilarica 81 project changes the building’s function while carefully preserving the character of the original architecture.

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

all images © maria eugenia serrano díez

 

 

due to various reasons such as noise and pollution, much of madrid’s industrial activity has moved outside the city center over the past thirty years. as a result, urban industrial buildings have become somewhat obsolete. to fill these vacant spaces, local planning regulations allow for a change of use from industrial to residential, so long as a series of requirements are met, including minimum lighting, ventilation and accessibility conditions. with these conversions often tripling or quadrupling the original property’s value, it’s no wonder this industrial typology is on track to disappear. 

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

 

 

taller de casquería‘s proposal for pilarica 81 attempts to preserve the original structure of the industrial building in a program that is both public and private, productive and residential. the architect’s first step was to remove the various additions that had been made over the years, as well as the climate conditioning of the space to promote the proposed uses.

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

 

 

the next part of the design was to develop two functional modules to allow the use of the different areas of the space. on the lower level, a ‘wash-and-dry tunnel’ is inserted in relation to the artistic production that takes place on this floor, as well as a small bathroom located next to it. on the upper floor, a functional module is designed that concentrates the needs and desires of the residents, delimiting different areas and making the space habitable.

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

 

 

the finishes on the ground floor are raw and neutral, aimed to enable, without conditioning, the intended artistic activity of the space. on the other hand, the upper floor seeks to afford a domestic and more personal use, creating a contrast between smooth and rough, soft and hard textures. the insertion of these uses aims to emulate the insertion of industrial machinery that previously occupied the space. just like a cheese pasteurising tank or an automotive painting booth, these pieces occupy the premises temporarily without permanently marking the space and therefore allowing the space to be reprogrammed by a potential future tenant.

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom  

taller de casqueria converts an industrial space into an artist's workshop in madrid designboom

 

 

 

project info:

 

project name: pilarica 81

location: madrid, spain

architect: taller de casquería (elena fuertes, ramón martínez, álvaro molins, jorge sobejano)

collaborators: teresa martínez pagés, manuel alba montes

contractor: fast&furious office

area: 2691 ft2 (250 m2)

photography: maria eugenia serrano díez