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A peek into our ‘new’ office

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+eu:live

Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

Exterior view of the first two floors, now part of Ecosistema Urbano’s office. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.


Our office has always had two floors: a ground floor and a basement, connected by the iconic red stairs you may have seen in previous pictures. During several years, the size of the company remained stable and the spaces fit perfectly our daily work: a single room for the whole team, a meeting room, a kitchen-slash-library and a secondary work and meeting space in the ground floor.

In the last three years, however, Ecosistema Urbano has seen a sudden growth, more than doubling its usual size at some point. It was getting harder to fit so many people in our existing spaces.

Some limitations of the office were also sinking in: the lack of natural light, on one hand, and the lack of separated spaces, on the other. At this point, we decided to take the leap… and expand.

Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

View of the new common workspace in the first floor. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

Moving into the first floor

Recently, we acquired the first floor in the same building, and started the refurbishment process while we continued working in the ground floor and the basement. The building where our office sits was rebuilt after the Spanish civil war, using a wooden structure filled with brick and—as we found out during the construction process—debris.

The first challenge was to expose and reinforce the structure, which had been partly eaten up by termites, and to level the floor, which had a 40 cm—yes, 0,4 meters—difference in a just 10 m wide flat.

The second challenge was to turn the three different floors into something that would feel and behave like a single office. This required fitting a new internal staircase in the limited space available around the central patio.

Drawing of Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

Drawing of Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

Drawing of Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid


Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

View of the internal stairs between the ground floor and the 1st floor. Phoot: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

Upgrading the common spaces

The kitchen/library has always been a key part in our daily routine. It’s the place where we socialize, distend and—as part of a singular and valuable tradition—cook and eat together.

By moving the main workspace to the first floor, we freed the whole basement to become a full-time social and creative space. It is now the most multifunctional space, including a workshop equipped with a 3D printer and some electronic tools, a bigger kitchen for coffee breaks and daily cooking, a cool place for our server, a quiet reading corner, a ‘bunker’ room for private meetings and a space for lunch, talks and creative workshops.

Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid.

View of the flexible space in the basement. A place for creation and social exchange. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

Ecosistema Urbano office Madrid

View of the refurbished kitchen, now finally up to the task of cooking everyone’s daily lunch. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

Subdividing the office!

During the last decades, especially with the surge of coworking and certain startup culture, there has been a huge trend towards open or shared office spaces. The practical truth, however, is that even in the ‘digital age’ there is much need for separated spaces. The more global and digital a company becomes, the more different conversations have to take place at the same time without interfering with each other.

So our new office has gone from 2 to 6 meeting spaces, divided by glass walls and sound-tight doors, while keeping the same open concept for the main working area and the basement.

Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

View of one of the new separated workspaces, a small workshop in the 1st floor. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

View of two of the new meeting rooms. At the back, our main meeting room or “space capsule” to the world. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

View of two of the new meeting rooms. At the back, our main meeting room or “space capsule” to the world. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztúa.

On a small note, if you are wondering about the lighting: it’s custom-designed, made in our new ‘workshop’ with a combination of off-the-shelf components and 3D printed parts. But we will be sharing more about them soon, so we will just leave you with a teaser for now:

Ecosistema Urbano office in Madrid

You can see more pictures about this project in our portfolio.

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IAAC THESIS PROJECTS 2009. Gawel Tyrala from Wroclaw, Poland

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+eu:abierto

Within the IAAC Thesis projects series we started last year, we continue today by presenting the work by Gawel Tyrala, an architect from Wroclaw, Poland. As a thesis project he developed a project to enter a competition on Vistula River banks. Permanent activities around Vistula River banks forced the need to create temporary infrastructure for going on events. continue reading

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IAAC THESIS PROJECTS 2009. Pablo Rica, Barcelona, Spain

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+eu:abierto


Today we present the work by Pablo Rica: Compact – Fabric Forming Component .
Fabric is a flexible and adaptable material with a soft appearance. In combination with a fill in material, the properties change from supple to hard, gaining structural and thermal qualities. The hardened material turns to have a soft appearance in reverse. This is where the ambiguity and discrepancy from solid fabric to elastic stone becomes interesting. And in that process of changing condition is where new possibilities of design arise. Compact is a research project about examining the potential of fabric as a construction technique and developing a modular system, in which material properties and environmental aspects are involved. continue reading

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IAAC THESIS PROJECTS 2009. Brynhildur Guðlaugs from Reikiavik, Iceland

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture

sensual landscape01

Today we present the work by Brynhildur Guðlaugs, an architect from Reikiavik, Iceland. Her proposal, called Sensual landscape, is a bathing facility for the hiking people who travel around the Torfajokull region in Iceland, an uninhabited area in the south and one of the most powerful thermal areas in the country, named after a glacier, Torfajokull. The structure of the facility is an adaptation of the already existing hot springs that are situated all around the area. continue reading

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PROYECTOS DE TESIS EN EL IAAC (The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia ) Rodrigo Toledo de Medellín, Colombia

Category: ⚐ ES+arquitectura


Jose Luis Vallejo y Belinda Tato han sido tutores de uno de los grupos de tesis en el IAAC el pasado mes de junio. El grupo contaba con 16 estudiantes de paises distintos tales como Rusia, Polonia, Colombia, Turquía, India, etc…Ha sido muy interesante trabajar con un grupo tan heterogéneo y multicultural. Los temas de tesis han sido seleccionados por cada uno de ellos y varían en su escala y emplazamiento. Vamos a publicar en las próximas semanas los resultados de algunos de estos trabajos. Hoy os presentamos el trabajo de Rodrigo Toledo, arquitecto de Medellín, Colombia. Se trata de una propuesta para la ciudad de Medellín en la que aborda aspectos económicos y sociales relacionados con la configuración y el uso del espacio público. continue reading

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IAAC THESIS PROJECTS 2009. Rodrigo Toledo from Medellín, Colombia.

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+downloads

Jose Luis Vallejo and Belinda Tato have been tutors of one of the thesis projects group at the IAAC last June. There were 16 different students from many different countries such as Russia, Poland, Colombia, Turkey, India and so on. It has been very interesting and exciting to work with architects with such different backgrounds. The topics were chosen by them and there is a whole range of different ones from a very small scale to a large one.
We will be presenting some of these thesis works in the following weeks. Today we present the work by Rodrigo Toledo, an architect from Medellín, Colombia. His proposal is for his home city Medellín and he deals with the economic and social issues related to public space scene. continue reading

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Superuse: a big database of recycling-related projects

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+art+design+internet


Superuse is based on a simple but effective concept. For the viewer, it is a big database of recycling-related projects in various fields (design, architecture, art, etc) and for its registered users it is a community whose members can submit stuff and vote other people’s sumissions. continue reading