Accommodating Changing Lifestyles

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Line Drawing, Students

Accommodating Changing Lifestyles

Eleonora Santucci & Elena Raimondi


How can a city respond to the complex needs of our society, Which spaces do we need today?
The project comes from a deep analysis and considerations on how the enormous changes our world is facing nowadays are influencing our ways of living the cities and the spaces we inhabit. Our lifestyles and traditional set of rules are rapidly changing, according to the dynamics of a world, where sharing economy and digital revolution are modifying our traditional reference points and metrics.
The project of two abandoned buildings in Madrid has been the occasion to experiment a new architectural and urban model that tries to respond to the needs of our contemporary society.

Working spaces, laboratories for innovation and research will activate the 10.000 m2 ground floor of the building Nave Hormigòn, while the building Nave Metallica will be converted into a covered public space, a natural expansion of the existing public space, set to host different activities.
The program, both for the interiors and exteriors, is built on the principle of sharing spaces, in order to favour not only the maximum permeability of the spaces, but also the rise of informal and unconventional uses.
Different types of green spaces communicate within each other, without caring of the limitis between interiors and exteriors.
And a set of small devices that let the users interact with the landscape makes of the new urban area an attractive, lively and funny place.

/Users/Eleonora/Dropbox/lacaton&vassal/PMM/!! FINE !!/cad/PIANTA


Who influences you graphically?

We believe that everything you see can possibly have an impact on your work. So it is more a matter of “what” influences you, rather than “who”.
As the project is located in Madrid, we have been inspired by the city, by the places we saw there, starting from the advertising graphic that were on the street to the drawings of some Spanish architects.
If we have to say some specific visual references for this project, we can mention the use of the line graphic in some sketches of the project for the Red Bull Music Academy by Langarita-Navarro Arquitectos, or the use of the colours in some drawings of SelgasCano Architects (in particular, the ones they did for the installation “al aire” for the Venice Biennale of 2012).

You solely explore your proposal through line drawings, what is the effect and purpose for this? 

We decided to express our project only with the use of line graphic because we wanted to make it extremely readable and understandable in its entirety. In that way, the structure of the building emerges, together with its lightness and openness that is a focal point of our purpose.
The keyword of the project is “sharing”, so we did not want to hide anything.


/Users/elenaraimondi/Dropbox/Lacaton & Vassal/PMM/04. Main Drawi

What dictated the choice of colour palette?

As always, we did some trials and trials, firstly everything was on a blue colour palette. Later we decided to use two different colours to enhance the presence of the two buildings, which are different but extremely connected. The red stays for the most “informal” space (para compartir), while the blue is for the formal one (para trabajar), but in some points they blur and they join, as nothing is really fixed and can evolve with time and uses.

How could the use of a specific format which reflect this idea of sharing have reinforced the proposal?

Actually the idea of sharing is expressed in every phase or drawing of the project: from a smaller scale (like the objects for the public spaces and uses) to a larger one (the potential different uses of the upper part of the “nave hormigon”, where you can have a market, an open air cinema, a place for spectacles and so on – or the setting of the external public plaza).
We believe that sharing can be improved by the uses that people can do in a place, by their meetings and their expressions, is for that reason that we left some space for “potential uses” of the spaces, giving guidelines instead of precise directions.

/Users/Eleonora/Dropbox/lacaton&vassal/PMM/!! FINE !!/cad/!! sez

What is the power of the diagram when it comes to architectural dialogue between client and designer?

Diagram is a tool, a form of expression that can easily communicate an idea, is for that reason that it is used to express concepts.
The best diagrams for us are the ones that say the right thing with no need of further explanations.
“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother” – said once Albert Einstein, we can easily refer it to a diagram: if your grandmother understand what you want to say, it means that you are right. So a diagram must be a combination of simplicity and effectiveness.
In that way, they can be seen as a perfect facilitator of the dialogue between client and designer.

Pianta mixtaverde final

Elena is an architect, graduated from Politecnico di Milano in April 2016. During her studies she spent six months in Porto and one year in ETSAM Madrid. She is currently living and working in Milan.

Eleonora is an architect, graduated from Politecnico di Milano and Alta Scuola Politecnica in April 2016. During her studies she spent one year in Paris at ENSA Paris Val de Seine. She is currently working and living in Paris, but in a bit of time you surely will see Eleonora and Elena working together in some part of the world.


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