Originally built in the 1920s as a Silversmith workshop, the headquarters of Madrid-based cultural organisation the Botín Foundation underwent a stunning renovation in 2012.
Project Architects MVN Arquitectos were inspired by the building’s historic references which led to a design which has retained the spirit of the building’s original industrial character.
A key objective was to create an open plan, warm space allowing natural light to fill the whole building. The biggest structural change to the building, and one of the most attractive features of the development, is a two-storey high atrium for the main lobby. One of the roof trusses was removed and replaced with a metal structure, creating an opening for the skylight over the atrium area. The direct daylight and plants in the lobby bring a great character to this meeting place. The ceiling is made up of longitudinal solid slats of American red oak and acoustic absorbent felt.
The red oak slats have a subtle colour variation which adds great character and warmth to the open space. The ground floor is intended for public activities with a flexible but modular, clear open space. MVN Arquitectos’ choice to use timber for the floor, walls and ceiling adds warmth to this area. After considering several species oak was chosen for its warm tones and hardwearing characteristics. All of the oak in the building has been treated with colourless oil to show the grain of the timber without altering its natural tone.
The building’s first floor houses the offices of the foundation’s senior management team, with all doors, wall panelling and floors also featuring a European oak veneer.