Castellana 44

  • Madrid 2015
  • Oficinas
  • Rehabilitación
© Estudio Álvarez-Sala



… the façade as an element for scale distortion

To refurbish a building in such a privileged environment should not pretend to become a reference point but to integrate in the Castellana skyline, always framed by lush greenery. The aim is to recover the vocational aspects of the original project by contemporary performances.
The two outstanding ideas developed by Aymerich, the architect, were to pursue verticality and an image of a floating prism. Verticality in a ten floors building must be understood related to scale and not size. Currently, horizontal elements in façade hinder the apreciation of the real scale of the building.
This proposal wants to keep and encourage this distorted scale vocation through a new exterior facade. Its condition will be porose and permeable, with diffuse limits as glasses’ height is variable.

The structural logic of the building is valid for the façade as well, using trussed elements from the top.

The new enclosure allows  to encourage the floated prism character as it does not touch the ground floor and hides the big  supports located on both sides.

… or  how to vanish the ground line

The volume is divided by a constructive and conceptual waterline between the world above ground – floors with sophisticated and hanging structure, generous floor span and transparent façade – and the subterranean world. This limit turns diffuse to introduce light in the floor below ground. This place becomes an interspace with natural light and own access.

… the obsolescence as a transformation tool

Dealing with refurbishment forces to understand different levels of obsolescence.  On this projects we focuse on three of them: space, energy and technique.

From the spatial point of view, the aim is to get more versatility. A new core is created in order to free the façade and to increase the surface dedicated to offices. This intervention helps to adapt the building to the new laws.
Energetically, the goal is to obtain the higher calification and, so on, fullfil the european standar about buildings into nearly zero energy, compulsory in 2018. The enclosure will optimize the loss of energy reducing thermal bridges.
Technically, the main requirement was to solve the fire protection by means of new evacuation stairs working by overpressure with two alternative routes.

… or how to respect what is working
The original structure strategy is understood as exemplar.



Date: 2015
Architecture: Enrique Álvarez-Sala Walther, Juan José MateosBermejo, Estudio Álvarez- Sala, aybar.mateos arquitectos
Visuals: Enrique A-S Gómez- Morán, Juan José Mateos Bermejo