The decoration company Batavia has commissioned the Ábaton studio to reform the premises of the Villagonzalo Palace with a spectacular result.
When we talked about reform or rehabilitation of old buildings in the past, we were talking about taking advantage of the envelope and creating new spaces inside for new use. Over time, this concept has been changing and becoming more nuanced. It is no longer the usual thing to tear down and reassemble, now design companies prefer to do a thorough analysis of what exists and what the client requires, adapting the space to both needs.
The building that we show you today was built between 1862 and 1866 by the architect Juan de Madrazo y Kunt, for Don Mariano Miguel Maldonado y Dávalos, Count Villagonzalo, hence the name with which we know him today. The palace has a trapezoidal shape and its address is Calle Hortaleza number 85 in Madrid. His style swims between rationalism and neo-Gothic, from which Madrazo’s work was nourished. Materials from the period tell its story: wooden eaves, carved stone, brick everywhere, the use of bars in the corner viewpoints and, best of all, the placement of slate on the roof.
But, in reality, what concerns us is not the global architectural complex, we are only going to deal with the base, the premises that have an entrance at number 2 Calle Mejía Lequerica, which until recently was occupied by a hardware store. This was the place chosen by the Batavia interior design company to locate its flagship, a store where to show the latest of the brand, born in 1996 as a furniture store, and which, today, combines contemporary furniture with old or vintage pieces, from a large group of high-level designers, both current and classic.
They executed it in 2016, together with the Ábaton architecture studio, making it one of their best performances in terms of interior design projects. And it is not that we say it, they say it from the international awards of Global Architecture & Design Awards 2018, which have distinguished the project with an honorable mention in the Interior-Corporate category, a complete success if we think that they have submitted to the contest this year, called Rethinking the Future, some 748 proposals from more than 50 countries, almost nothing.
The tandem formed by Batavia and Ábaton launched to dissect the old building, which had been a hardware store since 1906, with one idea in mind: respect the essence of its last tenant, preserving the elements that could be useful and at the same time, reinforce the idea of fusion between the two great concepts that the store has: the contemporary and the old.
In this way they distributed the 400 square meters of premises, configuring six exhibition halls, the largest of 101.52 square meters and the smallest of 18.92, saving the different levels between them with small ramps, adapted for all imaginable users, well, except for the Star Wars ones, of course. Jokes aside, the premises are completed with two offices, two warehouses and two toilets that lead to the interior, to the courtyard of the building.
The original mosaic pavement has been preserved, the walls made up of solid stone ashlars, of great beauty, have been treated and exposed, everything must be said, and as a transition element between rooms, huge trapezoidal steel frames have been placed, thus, they enhance and distinguish the opening, saving the unevenness in an elegant way… Isn’t the idea great? (it gives me yes…).
They took great advantage of the original shelves of the hardware store, where they placed a new section of designer gifts, for which they cleaned and sanitized the mentioned furniture well, leaving visible the traces that the passage of time has left on them, and enhancing the exhibition area by a very discreet and latest generation lighting system. This air of fusion lasts throughout the brand’s Flagship store, generously mixing items from local designers, with artisan items, contemporary furniture with antique furniture, plus a good cast of vintage rugs.
It is clear that Ábaton achieved what his client had asked him to do, which was nothing more than transforming an old premises into a provocative but serene space, where opposites can understand each other perfectly, past and present, modern and ancient. , the commercial and the traditional, etc. The morphology of the premises is, in this case, ideal for the function to which it has been assigned, producing different sections where different interior design concepts can be enjoyed.
The generous commitment to green, introducing abundant and different types of plants, large as the banana trees or smaller as the ferns, make the rooms not artificial, it is like being at home, a beautiful house where you can see the passage of time looking at the bare brick walls and, at the same time, observing how the false ceiling melts into the ashlar walls or how it breaks to see the old cement-treated floor. A Madrid store whose visit is highly recommended, without a doubt.