The project is set within the existing building of the Palace of Conde Duque, one of the largest buildings in Madrid, which from the seventeenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century was a Royal Guards Corps barracks. It was only in 1983 that the Conde Duque was reborn as the cultural center it is today. It remains as one of the most important buildings of Madrid and is working hard to retain a presence in the city’s cultural scene. However, the intimidating former military facilities have failed to create a vibrant cultural community and reorganization of the center is long overdue.
Following conversations with Pablo Berástegui, the cultural director of the center, I developed a design and program strategy that would invigorate the site and allow it to realize its full potential. The proposal consists of a mixed use live and work community named La Villa Del Conde Duque. The introduction of live and workspaces allow young creatives in the Universidad district to coexist in the social cultural center. Becoming a hub for the thriving arts, cultural, and entertainment scene, creating affordable homes and job opportunities for locals in an area where unemployment is at its highest ever.
Led by climatic conditions, traditional domestic spaces in Spain have used light screens alongside the fenestrations of the building to provide shade and privacy. Researching existing residential projects from three different Spanish architects (Ricardo Bofill, Rafael Moneo, and Jose Antonio Coderch) provided key design criteria in developing the residential units. The project reinterprets their designs and modifies them through implementation of concrete light screens, creating semiprivate outdoor working spaces for the residents.