by gon – Gonzalo Pardo
Dance and theatre school in Las Tablas, Madrid.
It was the beginning of May 2019, Lara and Susana contacted us through a mutual friend to tell us they had rented a ‘very strange’ place in Las Tablas neighbourhood in Madrid where they wanted to place their own dance and theatre school. We met for the first time in our office, where they commissioned us with the project in exchange for only two conditions: the budget couldn’t exceed 40,000 euros and the centre has to be up and running within four months.
On the border between the countryside and the city, in a residual plot resulting from poor urban planning, is SULA, a space for teaching, production and consumption of dance and theatre for children and adults. The initial conditions of the premises are clear: a space of 89 square meters with a sand floor, sanitary facilities seen from the ceiling and a blind brick facade very visible from the road.
Decision-making is in favour of the economy of the project and seeks at all times the principle of minimum energy and maximum results. From the outside to the inside, the façade, which is executed with three types of standard windows at different heights, narrates the interior-exterior relations in different ways, seeking to be an element of mediation and urban connection that articulates the space of the city located between the existing buildings and the school itself.
Indoors, the project is thought as a great room, where the position of the bathroom cabin -with the universal accessibility required by regulations- determines the spatial configuration. The teaching centre is organised by programmatic bands in which, from the larger side of the triangle to the smaller one, the storage space, the main room, the changing room and the entrance reception follow one another.
Taking into account the state of the matter of contemporary practice in the field of dance and theatre, where the conception of a ductile, elastic, malleable and mutable space is sought above all, the school is set as an experimental space, flexible, adaptable, soft and versatile, thanks to a curtain system that allows its transformation. These hanging structures, besides offering acoustic isolation, allow multiple configurations depending on the spatial needs that are demanded at each moment (class, sample or rehearsal), admitting transformations where the luminous and acoustic vibrations, dances, turns, games and gravitations, elements of today’s scenic world, take place.
The construction of the project took place between the months of August and September, opening the curtains to the public on Tuesday October 1st 2019.
Architect: gon- Gonzalo Pardo
Colaborators: Carol Pierina Linares, Alejandro Sánchez Zaragoza, Carlos Barranco Carreras.
Construction: Serviteco Obras sl.
Textile: Rabadán S.A
Facade: Fer Segovia + OBOE
Client: El Universo de SULA
Area: 89 m2
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
gon is an architecture office headed by Gonzalo Pardo. His practice focuses on the research and development of multi-scale projects whose common denominator is a ludic, experimental, critical, and optimistic point of view of contemporaneity. Its interests focus on the creative processes of architectural design and construction, but also on the role that mediation and communication play in architecture as fundamental vehicles for transforming the world into a more sustainable, dignified, and free place.
Gonzalo Pardo graduated as an architect from ETSAM and holds a PhD cum laude since 2016. His doctoral thesis “Body and House. Towards the contemporary domestic space since the transformations of the kitchen and the bathroom in the West” was also awarded the Extraordinary Prize of Doctoral Thesis 2016-2017, and an honorable mention at the XI Contest of the Thesis Contest of Arquia Foundation.
Associate Professor in the Department of Architectural Projects at ESTAM, since 2007 he teaches at different universities and institutions covering different subjects related to the process of architectural design. Deputy Commissioner of the Spanish pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennial, he has won 41 national and international awards since 2000, including the first prize for the renovation of the AZCA block in Madrid in 2007; the second prizes in the international skyscraper competitions in New York and Velux in Denmark in 2007; COAM prize in 2004 for the curatorial cycle Paréntesis, and Runner-Up price in Europan 14 competition at Barcelona site.