Redesign of an attic in the Justica neighborhood in Madrid.
In the last fifteen years in which Andres had occupied a room in his sister’s house, he stored in the basement storage room all those objects and furniture that he had acquired in different design houses.
Last January he called me for a coffee after having closed the purchase of a 78 m2 attic on Calle Pelayo for 210,000 euros.
“Gonzalo, I want to live alone. I need a lot of light and darkness to sleep. I am a shivery person. I hate air-conditioning. I work on the weekends at home and I organize meetings with friends but I never have parties. I collect contemporary art. I like to eat outside the house and read on the couch. I take long showers and I’m obsessed with the order. I have 40,000 euros to redesign and I want to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home.
How could I make the best home for Andrés, that meets his wishes, in a relatively small attic, in the center of Madrid, with a tight deadline and a limited budget?
The house was a watchtower with small windows, without natural light, compartmentalized and oriented to an interior courtyard. The decision making was clear: Empty the space by removing false ceilings and partitions, creating holes to the east towards the patio and the silence, to the west towards the city and people and in the ceiling to the blue and unique sky of Madrid; and crossing the space by a magnetic line that radiates redness and attracts all those objects capable of being perfectly stored. In other words, abandon the emptiness so that Andrés defines each space when he occupies it. The simplest solution is usually the correct one.
The project is solved from the storage with the decision to build a standard red, bright and continuous furniture that articulates the whole house; an object of 14.50 meters in length, 0.60 meters wide and a volume of 22 27 m3 made from modules of kitchen cabinets that run through the house adapting to it like a glove.
On December 30, 2017 at eleven o’clock in the morning a van went to Pelayo Street transporting Andres’ furniture, objects and books. While the operators unloaded and carried all the stuff, Andres carefully placed his belongings inside the house.
I was the one driving the van.
Architects: gon – Gonzalo Pardo
Collaborators: Clara Dios
Red furniture: Victoria González Expísito. vonna
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
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.