Eulalia is part of a project series called "Elements for industrial recovery" a strategic toolset to protect the city’s industrial heritage.
Industrial activity in the center of the city of Madrid has gradually decreased in the last 30 years to end up in the current situation: a foreseeable disappearance. The explosive rise in property value, noise- or environmental protection measures and traffic density, among other reasons, have led to a diaspora of industrial activity from the city center to the outskirts. Accordingly, industrial buildings in the urban fabric are under risk of extinction. Current urban planning regulations encourage property owners to change the land use from industrial to residential, which requires a reduction in the usable area, leading to the demolition of part of their properties: the warehouses.
The incentive to make such conversions is provided by the real estate market, which causes the value of the plot to raise up to 4 times its original price when it is transformed into a residential space, mainly prompted by the rental price increase that the city is undergoing in the last years. This situation increasingly condemns the city to a single use and this typology to disappearance. Our proposals aim to become a strategic toolset to protect the industrial heritage of the city through land-use and occupation alternatives that allow to extend this typology’s life and avoid its demolition.
Eulalia Gil was a warehouse of disparate objects. Remains of unclaimed family properties, discarded furniture, books in poor condition and many other objects. A space determined more by its content than by its function as a container. Unconsciously it was this condition that guided the renovation project: a space shaped this time by the collection of objects of its new inhabitant. Large format photographs, work tools, rescued and restored furniture, a kitchen from a recently closed restaurant, a bench from an abandoned church and plants of different types and sizes, among the many objects that make up his collection, generate different compositions, causing the space to operate as a large background.
In line with this idea, the interventions that do not directly affect the walls and deck are treated as objects that add to this collection. Specifically a staircase and a gate are developed to connect and isolate a small space of intimacy for the inhabitant. These elements contrast with the rest of the building due to their color, materiality and shape. Eulalia focuses on the content rather than the container, centering the experience on the different relationships that these objects establish with each other.