Through Each One of Our Hands
Madrid adds a new street: CALLE MAHOU (Google it!).
A street that is added to the existing urban fabric of the city to become a new landmark for Madrid. The city expands inside the building gaining ground for its citizens, spaces to colonize, active and reactive spaces. A street that reflects the idiosyncrasies of Madrid, its culture, its elements, its activities, its roots with spaces recognizable by the user full of locals elements. New spaces full of tradition.
The palace is introduced into the skyline of tiled pitched roofs, pots on the terraces, balconies of wrought iron, calamari sandwiches, chotis, carnations, market odor, conversations in squares, red sunsets and beers in the company. Mahou Street is Madrid and its locals. A space created by and for the people. Madrid is not only its streets, is in its people and their lives. The street is full of its inhabitants’ lifes and its inhabitants fill it with their things. People complete the space, program and use. A space that encourages the active engagement of its neighbours and the integration into their lifes.
The street is surrounded by rooms, the rooms have size and context but the program that houses the street is not seen as static, closed and compartmentalized. Instead, is a fluid and diluted program where anything can happen here or there. The program is everywhere and everywhere you can create the program.
A new concept. Traveling to the Golden Age by the hand of Calderon de la Barca and a very cold Botijo. See a Soccer World Cup with your friends or accompany your grandparents to their domino activities. There is no limit for spatial proposals thanks to the spatial fluidity and ease of accommodating new scenarios.
A street that makes its way into the building braking it into five interconnected pieces to stand as new buildings with new facades raised on all sides, encouraging interaction between the inhabitants of this new extension of the urban fabric.
By fragmenting the building, a new accessible, complex and dynamic communication within it is created. Allowing navigation through all the levels, platforms and floors connected together, thus ensuring universal accessibility of the “street”. A new opening that enhances the security and fire protection, evacuation, accessibility and removal of architectural barriers. Improves the bioclimatic performance adopting Mediterranean streetown configuration.
One of the main venues will be the Patio, core of activities and focus of looks from anywhere in the building: walkways, balconies and windows of the new interior walls. A playground for informality. A playground for the new, for the unexpected, for fun, to relax, to be under the sun, to be in the shade, to smell the flowers, drink beer, to sit, to lie, to hear a song, or a play, to laugh, to mourn. . .
The store or stores are mobile, flexible and adaptable. Starting from this idea, a collapsible cart is designed to tour the building. The shop is not anywhere and is everywhere, is where the buyers are. At Mahou street. Above. And down. And it moves with its cart, and opens and closes and “clink” cash, and thank you very much, and come back soon. And you’re going out to the street, but you were already there.
Small domestic meeting spaces, household, thoroughbred … your living room is brought into: we have sofas, we have tables, we have TVs, and a Flemish above the TVs, we have your grandmother’s chair, we have books, magazines for when you go to the bathroom, we have prawns, we have it all! … and we have BEER, everywhere, thanks to a distribution system that will cover the place with beer taps in multiple spots.
For the Mahou workers, we start from the concept a meeting room is people gathered.No specific spaces are required, they can work in the garden, work on the terrace, work alone, work with other people, work sitting, work standing, work still, moving work, work quietly, work with noise around, work here, work there… and when stop working … time for a beer! New adaptable, flexible and mobile furniture is designed to take to the courtyard, the terrace or the multipurpose hall. It unfolds and folds when work is completed, leaving the rooms free for different activities.
All decisions foster an interactive and dynamic space, full of physical and visual communications, creating interactive spaces for Madrid: look out the window, gossip, go to the street, live and sing.
Experience the street from all its angles, from above and from below, from the right and the left. Walk, travel it. Discover its corners. Just around the corner there is a concert, on the terrace below there is a party and over there there is an exhibition. Day and night. Say hello to your neighbor, how are you Paco?, walk the dog. Just around the corner there’s a party on the terrace there is an exhibition and a concert down there.
Carpo is a gastronomic meeting place with a deep focus on the natural and the healthy. It stands as a space of worship to well-being and contact with our environment through restoration, where the human is made present in nature.
Gastronomy and space are united under the same premise: to be in contact with our environment. The nature, the environment and the combination of its elements are fundamental parts of the creation of the Carpo identity.
In order to reflect the balanced plurality of our surroundings, Carpo is satisfied by the harmonious accumulation of elements, ingredients and pieces, which, when united, mixed and combined, present a coherent whole without losing the individual identity of each one.
As in the gastronomic section, where these ingredients are combined and varied to result in elaborations that put us in contact with our nature, the space project follows the same premise generating 4 spaces that refer directly to natural environments: the jungle, the desert, the sea and the sky; And that combined generate a cohesive and harmonious set within the plurality.
Fragments Of India_Learning from the traditional pols of Ahmedabad
A workshop led by Fragments Of and Footprints E.A.R.T.H. 
Country of contrasts, difficult to judge from a European look, hard to avoid romanticism. India will reveal part of its identity and then will contradict itself.
With more than 6 million people, Ahmedabad is the sixth most populous city in India. Historically, it is positioned as one of the economic and industrial centers with special importance in the XXth Century when hosted Mahatma Gandhi, leading the activism for India’s independence from Britain. During the second half of the century saw a period of cultural splendor, attracting big names from the world of architecture and modern art that will leave a mark in this enclave of living traditions.
Ahmedabad is the result of constant hybridization between tradition and modernity. Getting to know this city is approaching a fragment of India, a portion of such a plural country that it would be wrong to claim understanding. The urban fabric of the city is a direct result of this mixing and conflicts involved, patents and making visible the contrasts in the country is immersed, from slums to consolidated historic fabric, through new financial areas built in the form of skyscrapers glass, or even old peripheral rural areas today engulfed by the fast growth of the city. Ahmedabad offers countless case studies where test our understanding of the context.
The relation of the context with space and time in which it sets, is a key element in order to get close to this environment, changeable, dynamic, fluid and mutable, threatened by the current urban policies that, regardless of temporality as a factor, is jeopardizing some traditional idiosyncrasies of the region.
A fragment of the city is studied, the Pols, trying to face the challenges that these specific areas arise, from a global perspective and without forgetting the value of establishing debate in these processes, restating what we “know”.
We reflect on the lessons that we can draw from contexts like this and the potential contributions to the site as external agents; a laboratory of social, cultural and technical learning for Spanish students that working with Indian students and local actors seek to pose the right questions to extract from them the tools with which to tackle urban projects in such contexts.
Once there was an Earth
The ice is the world.
The world is nothing more than a state matter, a volatile state that requires certain conditions to maintain its equilibrium. Nature regulates these conditions in cycles perfectly, but there is an element that interferes in this unstable balance, the Salt of the Earth, human beings.
Pleasure and death are combined in every living being without altering the natural order. Except in our species, in which the balance favours the pleasure without realizing what it entails.
This imbalance is embodied in a facility that is a wakeup call, a place to enjoy and have fun but with a high price, the disappearance. The intention is to create, in the end, a feeling of regret in the user, who perceives the negative effects associated with their personal enjoyment.
The ice becomes a perfect construction material, an ephemeral and transformable object that is at the same time poetic, symbolic and engaging making the user think about the volatility of our world while creating a temporary human playground that will eventually disappear.
“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.”
Who influences you graphically?
Every Visual piece that has ever passed through our eyes, even if they are not directly related to architecture, has had an impact on us in some way. Here there are some of the names with which we flirt now and then:
Saul Steinberg, Wes Anderson, Picasso, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Memphis Group, Superstudio, Yung Cheng Lin, Tom Sachs, Atelier Bingo, Fala Atelier, Cy Twombly, Charles & Ray Eames, Alison y Peter Smithson, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Burle Marx, Rupest and Egyptian painting, Mughal Art, Cy Twombly ,Bofill,Peter Judson ,Mac Premo,Casey Neistat, Oliver Jeffers, Izaskun Chinchilla, Leonora Carrington, Marcel Broodthaers,Franz Erhard Walther, Antropoloops, David Hockney, Le Corbusier, Okuyama Taiki, Virgil Abloh, Kim Shui, Alessandro Michele,Tracey Emin, Piet Oudolf, John Hejduk, Vivian Maier, Javier Jaén, Wayne White, Enrique Radigales, William Copley.
What is your take on colour?
We love colour, including white.
Colour has always been present in popular architecture, in our traditional textiles, art and nature…
We love to challenge ourselves with the exploration of its possibilities and combinations, although we wonder in every project why it is so hard to implement it freely. The western world we live in has embraced for too many years now the absence of colour, and some sectors of society have not overpassed the aftermath of this mindset yet.
What defines the specific language of representation of each individual project?
Every project resumes the circumstances in which it is developed. Likewise, “Calle Mahou” is the result of one of the members knowing how to render very well, other feeling more comfortable with illustrator drawings and the mix of all these skills is what ended up being. Every drawing went through the hands of each one of us, which has a lot to do with the philosophy of the project as well.
In other occasions, we try to express qualities and values of the project, in this sense “Carpo” for example tries to be a prototype of different natural scenarios using techniques that we understand are closer to painting or illustration than to architectural representation.
We always try to mix things up, we love contrasts and we like when drawings and graphics have multiple layers, when you get one message directly from the first glimpse but you can keep watching it and still extract some meaning and information. In “Once there was an Earth” we tried to do so by contrasting the volatile material of the proposal – ice – with the rest of the scene, the people and the pre-existences, so that the way we represent the project is already talking about the deeper meaning of it.
What is your take on the axonometric?
The best virtue of axonometric drawings is that you can give a lot of information in one single drawing thanks to its special dimension. We love to use it during the working process as well as a tool to describe the projects that we want to publish, but it is not always the best way to communicate if we are working with people not used to work with abstract images. In those cases, we better work with perspectives and render images.
How does your academic research, in projects as fragments, influence how you operate architecturally as a practice?
Fragments Of is a set of academic workshops held in cities that are interesting for its cultural, social and economic distance. Everything we learn from those contexts have a direct impact on our mindset and way of working. Our project “Calle Mahou”, for example, has a lot of India in it, in the way we understood a cultural space of private management as a domesticated public space where every citizen could take part of it. The way Indians appropriate the scarce public space available, optimizing the resources available and giving different uses along the day and the year, is something that has fascinated us from the beginning.
Fragments Of teaches us to keep a global mindset keeping a local concern, trying to confront the challange of understanding the complex network of causes and effects that link us all. We wanted to express this “Think Global/Act Local” philosophy in “Once there was an Earth”, stating that the Earth is nothing more than a state of matter, a volatile state that requires certain conditions to maintain its equilibrium and where human beings act as the Salt.
How does your studio ‘manifesto’ of ‘mixture’ reflect on the images your produce?
WE BELIEVE IN MIXTURE. We enjoy so much working with different people in different contexts, and we like it to be visible throughout our work. That is the reason why every project has a different way to express itself; it gains its shape through the projections of the different identities and skills within the team working on each project, as well as the context in which the project takes place (the clients, the context of the brief, etc).
This way of working leads us to unexpected results with which all of us feel identified in some way, and that quality is also what we look for in our projects. Appropriation, diversity, participation, flexibility, integration… are values we always work with in our designs.
How important is the social media aspect when thinking about how a young studio chooses to represent themselves?
What a time to be alive! , we keep saying in the studio. We are super excited about all the social media phenomena happening around; we like to experiment with these new ways of communicating and its different formats.
First, we became amazed by the youtube universe and how the most private spaces of the city could became global and visually public by the choice of one single person with a smartphone in his pocket; and we ended up discussing how this same idea could be used to #Savetherhino in Southafrica by monitoring the animals movements in the natural Kruger Park at the same time that anyone with access to internet could enjoy the majestic nature from the WC of his bathroom.
Then, being instagramable became a quality increasingly important, so we decided to play with it and started the project Pasión de Perdices, which tries to be a kind of 21st century soap opera broadcasted through Instagram stories instead of TV, a reality show where we show everything happening around the construction process of our first major project, introducing every character involved and the movie plot.
We are eNSaLaDA !
A group of architects working and exploring new architectural fields. Mixing and remixing, we are interested in new ways of approaching our environments and contexts, as it takes into account the complexity of relationships that generate them, from the individual to society, and focused on the understanding of architecture and urbanism as a piece of an interconnected puzzle. Always working in-between fields, from urbanism to communication, from industrial design to art, from digital to pure analogic, we look for ways to expand our knowledge in order to keep on feeding our curiosity.