Lobby reform for the Institute of Ocular Microsurgery (IMO) in Mirasierra.

by gon architects

OCULUM, the new reception of the Institute of Ocular Microsurgery of Madrid, seeks a link between the worlds of ophthalmology and architecture, that finds and unfolds its spatial narrative around optical devices, such as lenses, photometers, refractometers and microscopes.

OCULUM is designed as a visually technological space which processes, from the generation of the idea to its construction, are completely innovative and handcrafted, being though of and made from a non-existent product on the market, manufactured by a metal worker in an industrial warehouse in the neighborhood of Tetuán, in Madrid.

OCULUM is a continuous system that consists of a 41 by 2.96 meters metallic belt that fits like a glove to the existing space. A continuous enclosure formed by 17 light boxes with a depth of 6 cm and a 4 mm opal white methacrylate in its interior, illuminated by wired and encapsulated led modules with optical lens; all of this, covered by 13 aluminum plates lacquered in a textured 9006 RAL with its front cut out by circular figures.

OCULUM is proposed as an architectural device: a large lantern made up of 1,184 lenses that cast a constant and homogeneous light that expands a and magnifies the lobby, at the same time that surrounds, watches and welcomes the visitors to the ophthalmological center. Because of the reflections, refractions and backlight effects, the notions and limits between interior / exterior, public / private, and inside / outside, are altered in order to achieve a magical atmosphere in the place.

OCULUM is also a tribute to Jean Prouvé’s dream and his tenacious experimental search in the world of prefabrication, to classic Barbarella film by Roger Vadim, starring Jane Fonda under the circular spotlights of film studios and her space-age wardrobe created by Paco Rabanne, as well as to the own architect and fashion creator, with his best geometric designs, that also included circles.

Architects: gon (Gonzalo Pardo)
Team: Carol Pierina Linares, María Cecilia Cordero, Iván Rando
Project Manager: Marta Sánchez
Construction: Ancordarq S.L
Counter: Abalit Elementos Moldeados S.L.
Panels Rótulos Argoneón S.L.U
Lighting: Oliva Ilumunación
Location: Madrid, Spain
Client: Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular/VISSUM
Date: 2020
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

Architects: gon architects


Calle San Lucas 6, 2º D
28004, Madrid, SPAIN

gon is a Madrid-based architecture and design office headed by Gonzalo Pardo since 2014. His practice focuses on research and development of singular architectural projects of different scales ranging from urban planning to buildings to interior construction.

The common denominator of his works is a playful, experimental, critical and optimistic view of the contemporary. In a constant dialogue based on observation and details, his interest focuses on the creative processes of architectural design and construction, as well as the role of mediation and communication of architecture as fundamental vehicles for transforming the world into a place more sustainable, worthy and free.

Gonzalo Pardo is an architect from ETSAM (School of Architecture of Madrid) since 2007, and has a PhD in Architecture since 2016. His thesis “Body and House: Towards the contemporary domestic space from the transformations of the kitchen and bathroom in the West” obtained the outstanding Cum Laude rating, and received for it the 2016-2017 Extraordinary Doctoral Thesis Award and an honorable mention in the XI call for the Arquia Foundation Thesis Contest.

Since 2007 he teaches as a visiting professor at different universities and institutions, in subjects with the common denominator of being linked to the project, as in the European Institute of Design (IED), in Madrid; the Illiois Institute of Technology (IIT), in Chicago, United States; Lund University, in Sweden, and the Master in Collective Housing (MCH), in Madrid. He has been a professor in the Master in Architectural Communication (MaCA) and in the Master in Advanced Projects (MPAA) of the Department of Architectural Projects at ETSAM.

He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Architectural Projects at ETSAM, where he teaches undergraduate projects. Member of the Hypermedia research group: Communication Workshop and Architectural Configuration, he directs doctoral theses as a teacher and researcher, as well as numerous End of Master’s Projects (TFM) and Final Degree Projects (TFG).

He has been deputy curator of the Spanish pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennale, and since 2000 he has obtained 41 national and international awards, including the first prize for the remodeling of the AZCA block in Madrid in 2007; the second prizes in the international Skyscraper contests, in New York, and Velux, in Denmark, in 2007; COAM award in 2014 for the Paréntesis curator cycle, and honorable mention in the Europan 14 competition at the Barcelona location. His projects and built work have been widely disseminated in national and international, physical and virtual media.