INSTITUTO CERVANTES BXL
headquarters refurbishment
Brussels, Belgium
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Everything is pre-existing, recycled or, if new, mobile.

Preexisting, apart from the structure and the enclosure, we found interesting elements to preserve; the temptation would be to empty everything and start over, but many installations and even finishes could be preserved and integrated into a new concept.

Recycled, in the mature market of Brussels it is possible to find recycled materials of high quality and benefits at very competitive prices. In addition, the Institute had materials from the previous headquarters (and other centres) that can be easily incorporated.

Mobile, so that the investments in new materials of equipment can be reused in the future regardless of functional or strategic changes.

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The activities allocated in this floor are visible from the street as a way to highlight its public essence. A domestic library, a coffee hall, a multifunctional space with stands or the information displayed on the monitors.

A pixelated sky ceiling that encloses all the installations machines, stablishes a direct dialogue with the language use to solve the stair that connects the hall in the second floor that gives access to the classrooms.

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The ground floor is a single and continous space. There are lines of vision that cross the space from one side to the other. The light comming through the windows of a façade can be seen from the other one.

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However, there are clearly separate enclosures and routes; the library has a defined and controlled access point, but when we go inside it, we find places to rest, windows, points of visual contact with the rest of the program. Inside of the library route, the most sheltered angle hosts the children’s library area. Then, at halfway a ramp rise above the grount finishing the tour on a reading room furnished as a domestic space surrounded by books, but at the same time serving as a storefront and a stage.

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The central space accommodates complementary and temporary functions, framed by curtains or light furniture, which also allows to use it as a classroom for teaching activities. It is a space between classrooms, used for waiting to start a class, informal talks, to manage enrollment periods, and also for extracurricular activities.

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The velvet curtains work acoustically, while giving this space a theatrical character that facilitates the role play, much needed for language learning.

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The circle is coated with recycled PETT felt, which is acoustically absorbent, and allows the communication of teachers and students to be sharp and effective. The coloured felt works also as a contrasting background that allows us to gladly reuse the existing chairs in the previous headquarters

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One of the major challenges of the project was to combine at the ground floor level the required flexibility for a multifunctional and public space, and allowing at the same time the possibility to locate 30.000 books of the library. The system proposed to solve this issue was a three-dimensional version of the Cervantes Institute Logo. Orthogal geometries created by thick red lines which limit undefined spaces.

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We have observed that the teaching system used by the Instituto Cervantes requires a circle arrangement of students. We also take account that this circle arrangement conflicts with the square perimeter of the usual spaces for this use. Therefore, we plan to mark the circle in the classrooms with an element of simple construction. In the interstices suitably chosen plants are placed to help clean the atmosphere of the room.

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OOSTCAMPUS PARK
PRODUCTIVE LANDSCAPE
OOSTKAMP, BELGIUM
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An energy producing park, built with recycled materials. Park activities, cycle and pedestrian lanes coexist in harmony with yards for storage and the management of construction material.

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The park around the building is also built with a very controlled budget, and its features are productive systems, rather than an expense.

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The city's road work department material storage integrates with pedestrian and cycling routes. It is part of a European Interreg MP4 project: Making Places Profitable.

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Water harvesting in two steps: the roof provides clean water for all the toilets, the workshops, and the vehicle cleaning point.

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This adds to the water collected in the plot, which may contain some sand to filter, but is perfect to fill the street-cleaning truck tanks.

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APARMENT
MADRID, SPAIN
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APARTMENT
MADRID, SPAIN
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No es un pasillo, es una galería, un vestidor y una cocina. El no-pasillo, en lugar de ser simple distribución, se suma a los espacios multiplicando su función.

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Restos de antiguas capas de pintura, enmarcados en blanco pautados por las cerrajerías metálicas, dan carácter a este pequeño piso en el barrio de Lavapiés.

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Muebles cálidos y cómodos, materiales naturales, blancos edredones de plumas, dan vida a un espacio polivalente.

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NUÑEZ DE ARCE 9
OFFICE AND HOME
MADRID, SPAIN
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An old Madrid apartment becomes a place to live and work. The large available area is treated as a country plot, building a small house with a garden at one end, and leaving the rest as labor fields.

The house-shelter is built with lightweight and cheap materials, forming boxes that are stacked, juxtaposed or doubled, so that their interiors can be used according to precise functions.

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The garden, empty of constructions, is filled with light elements under the light of a street lamp. It is a space of communication, place of passage for all, but with the dimension and the necessary equipment to invite the break. At one extreme, a sushi-kiosk offers us food and drink.

The intermediate places, discrete adjoining constructions, close anonymous doors to a neutral space inhabited by multiple activities.

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In the fields of labor, the most subjective operation is carried out: the discovery of the landscape.

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Scraping, smoothing, puffing, discovering episodes, traces, wounds, that appear before us in the distance. Distance of time: hand-painted papers a century and a half ago, overlays of different tastes, fashions, traces of different uses and ways of life. Distance in space: if we sit at a point in this open space, we have before us a panorama of episodes that invite us to approach. We get up called by a point of undefined colours, we want to see what it is, to feel its texture, its smell, to lose ourselves in its silhouettes. A sutured wound, a meeting between two times, a Pompeian red surrounded by a random mixture of vegetal, symbolic and geometric decorations. But, little by little, even the mouldy glue of the burlap was gaining our respect.

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MAISON DU PROJET
CRADLE TO CRADLE BUILDING
ROUBAIX, FRANCE
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RMdP is the first C2C (Cradle to Cradle) building in France. A regenerator of a former factory, it is an economic, cultural and environmental activator.

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The MdP (House of the Project) hosts meetings, exhibitions, calls for tender, as needed to reactivate the 1.000 Ha area into the circular economy.

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It is also improving soil and air conditions, eating up the chemicals left over from former industrial activity.

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There were no earthworks, using driven piles that may be recovered; the structure and façades are designed for disassembly and reuse.

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Materials are biodegradable or recyclable, with zero harmful chemicals

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Sanitation generates nutrients, with the chimneys of three dry toilets as a main feature of the façade.

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Landscaping cleans the soil; the building feeds on clean energies, with controlled solar exposure and the principle of the thermal onion.

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Technology reuse is easy, the designers call it “superfurniture”: mobile equipment units to provide a specific function to any space.

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ERRETRES
DESIGN OFFICE
MADRID, SPAIN
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The brief required flexible workspace for a creative agency, mutable into an events area, turning into a school of design for certain months in the year, or a place to have fun - with a very limited budget. We needed a simple and light way to transform spatial arrangements.

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The agency uses honeycomb cardboard panels made from recycled paper for their presentations. We decided to use them as mobile walls, covered with a felt made from recycled plastic bottles (PET), which is sound absorbing, light, inexpensive, and good for pinning presentations on. Other panels are lined with magnetic blackboard, whiteboard, void calendars, or printed with the presentations themselves.

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The existing concrete structure and walls are all left as found, with all traces, marks and irregularities left untouched, as resulting from clearing the previously clutterd space. We simply painted everything the same shade of light grey, so that the panels with the creative work become the only feature.

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Two sets of rails define the potential spaces. The bottom rail is the duct for all the service cables, and the back of each panel is attached to it with a magnet. The panel is actually hanging from the top rail, which is painted in a stark colour.

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WESTRAND
DISPLAY FOR BRUTALIST CULTURAL CENTRE
DILBEEK, BELGIUM
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The building was conceived as a meeting centre, by an important figure Alfons Hoppenbrouwers (1930 - 2001), the architect of the building and one of the protagonist in integrating color and life into the buildings. According to him these were always missing elements.

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For the future of CC Westrand, we propose a masterplan where we bring back the same original conpcets: color and life. However the project also responds to the problems related to the growth of the population which demands the reorganization of the spaces and the appearance of technical problems related to the aging of the building.

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In the master plan we can distinguish three parts: technical, creative and organizational. These parts are in mutual relation with each other, so that different parts of the plan can be executed over time in a coherent way, regardless of the order.

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Within these three parts we have made up a catalogue, which is important within the future vision of the building. This works a bit like a shopping list that can be performed in steps.

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In this set-up also small ideas are important and can find support within the framework of the bigger master plan, in order not to be left aside.

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Besides, the bigger scale cannot be forgotten: integration of greenery, parking area and landscape are described as well, all with the same coherence.

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The master plan that we propose is definitely not a standard architectural plan that has been made up just by architects. On the contrary, it is the result of many workshops with local experts, Dilbekenaars, users of the building, staff, municipality...

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The basis of this document reflects the ideas of the people who knows the building better.

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HORIZONTAL LOI 130
Building Complex for the European Commissions
Brussels, Belgium
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After an open call, 30 international teams were selected to design a new building complex for the European Commission in Brussels with the offices of the Commissions, as well as childcare centres, a visitor centre, restaurants shops and public spaces with green areas.

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The declared aim was to increase efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint, setting an example of sustainable construction.

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The towers are cut to maximize the allowed breadth facing Loi, but their depth is also cut at 5 degrees east of the south to optimize solar exposure through the year. This results in six façade orientations.

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Contradicting the brief, our proposal keeps the existing buildings of most recent construction, those on phase 2, which represent a substantial proportion of the requested surfaces.

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The car park runs along Rue de la Loi, on the side of the plot, not affected by the structure of the towers. It is all underground from Loi, but is accessed at mid-level from Joseph II, providing options for sectoring, and quick flows.

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Over fifty different stone and cladding varieties meet in the opaque façade, each one coming from the geological tradition of a current EU country.

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The building combines two three-dimensional façades systems depending on the direction they face. The sides oriented to south and north rely on a glass and mirror skin to let all light in, while the second system is more opaque, as it includes stone panels angled to allow views while protecting from sun exposure.

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The competition also asked for two towers, one of which was to be the tallest in Belgium, despite the location next to a low-rise residential quarter. We complied with this request but made all reasonable efforts to keep the towers slender and unobtrusive.

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We concentrated almost half the new surface in a horizontal volume, that lies above a covered public square that connects with the city and the metro.

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Pedestrians will access via the covered square, whether they are exiting from the metro, walking in from Loi, up from the bus stops on Joseph II, or through the passage from Ch. d’Etterbeek.

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This horizontal concentration of volume not only leaves the ground clear, it allows for the towers to become slimmer in the east-west direction, optimizing southern exposure and natural daylight, and minimizing its shadow on the neighborhood at the time of day when it is the longest.

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The towers have a compact core that provides the overall stability, while the perimeter is supported by relatively slender columns that stand on the cantilevered technical floors.

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ACADEMIE MWD DILBEEK
ACADEMY OF MUSIC, WORD AND DANCE
DILBEEK, BELGIUM
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The Academie MWD sits at a uniquely varied crossroads; South: the main square; North: Wolfsputten, a protected forest; West: CC Westrand, a Brutalist community centre; and East a series of quaint suburban villas.
Image and texture dematerialise the volume: the façade seems to blend into the forest.

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Our challenge was erecting a building with a quality of its own, which makes sense from all four directions.

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We carefully modulate scale and form: the jagged edge of the roof mimics those of the homes across the street, growing gradually to the cantilevered auditorium at the other end, and rising up to look face to face towards the monumental volumes of CC Westrand.

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The building changes dramatically as we move along the sidewalk; walking towards the forest, we see forest; walking towards the grey Westrand we see greys, whites and blue skies.

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Looking straight into the façade, we see the colours of a painting by A. Hoppenbrouwers, the architect of neighbouring Westrand.

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Photos Drawings
Almirante 11, 1º F, 28004 Madrid Spain
T +34 91 521 3569
info@carlosarroyo.net

Carlos Arroyo Architects, Madrid based office for Architecture and Urbanism, has an international scope, building in Spain, France, Belgium, Rwanda, Colombia and Argentina.

The work ranges from institutional projects like Oostkamp Civic Center (Belgium) and The Academy of Performing Arts Dilbeek (Belgium), through to large developments like the eco-neighbourhood Ecobarrio de Toledo (Spain) or Camaleón Living in Rivas Ecopolis (Spain). The total construction budget of the works in which he has played a major role exceeds 200 million€.

We have developed protocols for innovation on all scales, from building technology to landscape management, developing new types of public building, or researching into new forms of housing. Our work, described by critics as “sustainable exuberance”, claims to set the frame for a new architectural culture, language and aesthetics, through the ethics, technology and parameters of sustainability.

 

Benchmarks:

 

Main projects:

Projects in italics have their own link. Click on it to see more.

 

  • Erretres, Caminando por el jardín , Offices at Cadarso, Madrid, Completed, 2015-16.
  • Cervantes Institute Bruselas, Office building refurbishment, library and classrooms,  Brussels (BE), Completed, 2015-16.
  • Concept Plan Cultural Site Dilbeek, Design of the future plan of the area around the arts academy and the cultural centre at Dilbeek (BE) ,  Delivered, 2015.
  • XIV Edition Contemporary Art Fair DEARTE, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2015.
  • Maison du Projet de la Lanière, First Building Cradle to Cradle Inspired built in Francia, Roubaix, Lille (FR), Completed, 2014-16.
  • Breeze House Kacyiru, Mixed-used building, Kigali (RW), Under Development, 2014.
  • CREA Foundation, Artists in residence hotel in Avila (ES), Under Development, 2013-
  • Westrand, Refubishment of Dilbeek Cultural Center, Belgium (BE), 2013-14.
  • Kigali Farms, productive landscape V, buffer area of the Virunga Volcanoes National Park in Musanze (RW), Delivered, 2013-14.
  • Erretres, La Oficina Inestable, Refurbishment at Plaza de España, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2013.
  • Nobelia, High Performance Low Energy Business Centre, Kigali (RW), Under Construction, 2013.
  • Mundi, Wetlands Interpretation Centre, Kigali (RW), Under Development, 2013.
  • Westrand Masterplan, Design of a mobility plan, covered parking spaces, and square at Dilbeek (BE), Delivered, 2013.
  • Gran Via Futura, a study of Urban Landscape in Madrid’s Gran Via for Laboratorio Gran Vía (ES), Completed, 2010.
  • Casa en Ribarroja, Family house in Ribarroja, Valencia (ES), Under Development, 2009-
  • Energy producing park, Productive Landscapes IV,  Oostkamp (BE), European MP4 Interre, in association with ELD and VLM Flemish Govt. Landscape Agency, Completed, 2009.
  • Demand for quality in commercial street-level floors, Productive Landscapes III, Madrid City Council (ES), Completed, 2009.
  • Intervention in the industrial estate along the high-speed train line, Productive Landscapes II, Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government, JCCLM (ES), Under Development, 2009.
  • Strategies to recover  the interrupted landscapes of golf resort developments, Productive Landscapes I, Murcia Cultural, TISSPAS, Murcia’s Observatory of Sustainability (ES), Completed, 2009.
  • SOL, Refuge for the Climate Change, Mataha Foundation, Under Development, 2009.
  • 119 Houses in Rivas Ecópolis (ES), First prize competition, Under Development, 2008-
  • OOSTCAMPUS, City hall and civic centre, Oostkamp (BE), First prize competition, Completed, 2008-12.
  • Enviroloo, public dry toilets, Kazuba Sarl (FR), Completed, 2008-09.
  • Madrid Public Space, Stategic Document, Center Office with Emilio Luque (ES), Completed, 2008.
  • ACADEMIE MDW, Academy of Performing Arts, Dibleek (BE), First prize competition, Completed, 2007-12.
  • Flexi-Flats, Transformer housing in Ciudad Real (ES), Completed, 2007-08.
  • Casa en Las Lomas, Family house in Las Lomas, Madrid, (ES), Under Construction, 2006-
  • Dulce Hogar, 103 housing units in La Garena, Alcalá de Henares (ES), Competition, 2006.
  • Cultivos Urbanos, 2114 housing units in Aguas Vivas, Guadalajara, Competition, 2006.
  • Flexible y Democrático, 711 housing units in Mieres, Asturias (ES), Competition, 2006.
  • CLV, 2500 sqm Cohousing for CLV, Válor, Granada (ES), Under Development, 2005-
  • TSM3, House and Office Building, Madrid (ES), Completed 2005-18.
  • Casa Encuentro, House in Desierto de Tabernas, Almería (ES), Completed 2005-07.
  • Casa de los Azulejos, Family home in Cáceres (ES), Completed, 2005-07.
  • La Pelu de Peluka, children hairdresser´s Santa Feliciana, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2005-06.
  • Proyecto de Actuación, 65 Ha Land Management Plan, Completed, 2005.
  • Programa de Acción Urbanizadora, 7 Ha Land Management Plan, Toledo (ES), Completed, 2005.
  • Cruz, 12 senior flats with shared space in Madrid (ES), Under Development, 2004-
  • AAN, University building. Agrarias-Ambientales-Neurociencias Universidad de Salamanca (ES), Completed, 2004-08.
  • Proyecto de Urbanización, Unidad 4 Fase 5, Toledo (ES), Completed, 2003-05 Moving frontiers, Recreation Area, Madrid (ES), Second Prize Competition, 2004.
  • Ecobarrio de Toledo, 627 housing units in Stª Mª de Benquerencia, Toledo (ES), Under Development, 2003-
  • MH, 30 Lofts in  Polígono Julián Camarillo, Madrid (ES), Under Development, 2003-
  • Fluid House, conversion in Marqués de Santa Ana, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2003-05.
  • Nuñez de Arce housing block originally built  in 1871, 24 flats, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2003-05.
  • Housing block originally built in 1949, 14 large apartments and two shops, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2003-05.
  • La Casa de las Flores 2, 142 housing units for youths and seniors, Competition, 2003.
  • Gominolas, Infant school, Madrid, Competition, 2003.
  • Nave de Viviendas, Industrial shed with several flexible habitats, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2002-
  • Conde de Peñalver housing block originally built in 1912, 108 flats, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2002-04.
  • Plan Especial, Unidad 4 Fase 5, Toledo (ES), 2002-04.
  • Casa Betula, Family house in Ubeda, Jaen (ES), Completed, 2002-03.
  • Casa Uali, Family house in Aranda de Duero, Burgos (ES), Project, 2002.
  • Casa del Amor, House in La Moraleja, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2001-03.
  • The Huge Flat, conversion, Madrid (ES), Completed, 2001-02.
  • Casa Hodges attic, conversion, Madrid (ES), First prize invited competition, Completed, 2001-02.
  • Ecobarrio de Toledo, Unidad 4 Fase 5, Toledo, First Prize Europan Competition, 2001.
  • Estudio de Detalle, Residencial Montecastillo, Cádiz (ES), Completed, 2001.
  • Proyecto de Actuación, Accessibility project for a hardboard factory, Jaén (ES), Completed, 2001.
  • Alejandro Sanz, 2001 Tour, Produced, 2001.
  • 3×1, Three housing units in La Piovera, Madrid (ES), Preliminary P., 2001.
  • Montecastillo Senior Club, 138 housing units and Senior Club. Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz (ES), Project, 2000-01.
  • Esponja de Luz, 22 semi-detached houses V.P.T. in Torrelodones (ES), Project, 2000.
  • Launching Event. New Logo for British Petroleum and New design for BP garage, Madrid and Lisbon, Produced, 2000.
  • Franchipolis pavilion, SIF Valencia (ES), First prize competition, Produced, 2000.
  • Centro de día, Day Center for the elderly, Second prize competition, 2000.
  • CIDEMAT Island’s Center for Marine Sports, Sta Cruz de Tenerife (ES), Competition, 2000.
  • Stand Vía Digital, SIMO 2000, Project 2000.
  • Conversion of various industrial sheds into offices, Completed, 1999-2000.
  • Nuñez de Arce 9, Office and Flat conversion, Madrid (ES), Completed, 1999.
  • Trees and pillars, Sports center, Torrejón de la Calzada, Competition, 1999.
  • Edifici Sant Joan, 28 flexible flats in Vinyols i Els Arcs, Tarragona, Constructed, 1998-99.
  • Ecomuseum of Water Mining, Tenerife (ES), First prize competition, 1998-99.
  • Underground parking in Vinyols i Els Arcs, Tarragona (ES), Constructed, 1998-99.
  • Casa El Jaral, Family home in La Poblachuela, Ciudad Real (ES), Completed, 1996-98.
  • La Casa sobre el Tejado, attic conversion, Madrid (ES), Completed, 1996-97.
  • Martin Price Exhibition, Museo de Antropología, Sala Millares, Madrid; Galería H2O, Barcelona; COACanarias, Tenerife (ES), associated with Federico Soriano, José Ballesteros and Dolores Palacios, Produced, 1996.
  • Arquitecturas Madrid – Berlín, Ideas for the fallen wall,  Exhibition E.T.H., Berlin (DE); Kolomna Dom Kulturi, Moscow (RU), associated with Juan Antonio Gorráiz and Helena Casanova, Produced, 1991.

 

Project leaders:

Carlos Arroyo, Vanessa Cerezo, Cristina Revilla, Julio de la Fuente.

 

Collaborators (Past & present):

Carlos Revilla, Havi Navarro, Nikita FV Keysselitz, Miguel Ruiz-Rivas, Hendrik Verlinden, Kasper Denayer, Alexander Krol, Rafael Otero, David Jiménez Iniesta, Paula Currás, Iciar Arboledas, Marina Gil, Irene Castrillo, Sara Miguelez, Pieter Van Den Berge, David Berkvens, Benjamin Claeys, Paula Cortés, Carmina Casajuana, Sophie Devaux, Ana Belén Franco, Martin Hochrein, Érika Goyarrola, Jan Lacina, Natalia Matesanz, Irene Alvarez de Miranda, Miguel Paredes, Luis Salinas, María Gabriela Sanz, Sarah Schouppe, Beatriz Sendín, Riikka Stockstrom, Benjamin Verhees.

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Good Article about Nobelia in ZA magazine “Earthworks”

05 12 2018

 

Good article about Nobelia in South African magazine Earthworks, in the context of the 6-Star GBC certification of our project. See above the first two pages of the printed version. You can read the full text (without the graphics) on the on-line version here.

Buen artículo sobre Nobelia en la revista Sudafricana Earthworks, a propósito de la reciente certificación 6-Star GBC de nuestro proyecto. Arriba vemos las dos primeras páginas de la versión impresa, pero se puede leer el texto completo (sin imágenes) en la versión web con este enlace (en inglés).