Completion Date: October 2013



First urban store and new offices
Paseo Imperial, 40-42 Madrid - Spain
Enrique Bardají Álvarez y Carlos Santi Merayo

A new model always requires the development of a new architectural concept.

The MAKRO company has developed a new model of city centre wholesale stores to serve hotel and catering professionals in their immediate surroundings. The first one to be set up in Spain is in Paseo Imperial in Madrid. The building – a renovated existing timber and building materials warehouse – also houses the company’s central offices in Spain.

The Los Austrias area of Madrid, with a considerable range of bars and restaurants, is the best environment for establishing a new model of small wholesale supermarket which is even smaller than the ones the company has set up in Paris.

In a consolidated city environment, opportunities for the commercial development of 1,800m2 in a building are scarce. If we also add the need to obtain permission, build and open the store in a period of ten months, the possibilities are reduced to looking for a building to renovate that allows this use.

These circumstances have allowed, firstly, the full renovation of the building acquired and its adaptation for commercial use and the offices required. Secondly, it allows the investment of the assets released by the company from its head office in Dusseldorf in record time.

The action is intended to be part of the city’s plans for the future, not just because of the recent construction of the Río Manzanares park but also because of the development of IAPE 02/21 “Operation Calderón/Mahou”.

In the process of renovating the 17,751 m² building, constructed in reinforced concrete, work has been done on an area of 10,642 m², which has allowed:

- The creation of a double-height ground floor
- The reorganization of the vertical spaces, placing them at the perimeter and releasing the central zone
- The opening up of two courtyards, one interior and one exterior, making it possible to bring light to the heart of the building, improving the lighting conditions of the space intended for the company’s offices.

The concrete structure has been reinforced with steel, which has made it possible to develop the construction process of the building very quickly.

The existing GRC envelope has been removed and replaced with a glass skin and zinc elements with different configurations, strengthening the austere, industrial image the company asked for.

Up to four different configurations of the material have been arranged on the façades. In the opaque areas, smooth and perforated fretwork panels are alternated with glass zones. In the middle, the zinc trays produce a rhythm that makes the material less flat. The upper strips that diffuse the light in the working areas have been achieved with folded zinc, forming coverings for pillars or framework.

The metal coverings are associated with the image of the company’s superstores. As well as being used throughout the centuries on roofs in European cities, zinc is both an industrial and a historic material, which means it easily fits in with its nearby surroundings.

The restrained, elegant building vibrates under the changing light like a huge mermaid stranded on Paseo Imperial, always thinking, ALWAYS ZINCING…

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