Google has chosen Madrid as home to its sixth co-working Campus. We have been tasked to deliver the scheme in the Madrid Río area of Spain’s capital city on the back of the success of Google’s first venture in shared workspace, Campus London, designed by Jump Studios in in 2012.
The success of Campus London led to the expansion of these community hubs – now located in Madrid, London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Warsaw and São Paulo – which provide a space for entrepreneurs to learn, share ideas and launch start-ups. They offer pre-accelerator programmes, business mentoring, community engagement and more – all in a designer setting.
Campus Madrid supports some 7,000 members, including 50 resident start-up companies. The five-storey building it occupies is a former electrical storage battery factory, originally constructed in 1892, which has been carefully restored to function as a stimulating environment for Google’s members. A new entrance has been positioned on the south side of the building, opening up access to a public plaza and the main road above it via an adjacent staircase. The added entry point increases circulation and brings more natural light into the building.
Inside the new entryway, visitors are met with a striking artwork by local artist Ricardo Cavolo titled ‘Unstoppable’, before they reach the Campus café, operated by healthy food provider DO EAT. The café includes relaxed lounge seating and private booths and is set over the ground and first floors. Pops of colour accompanied by raw materials including timber, help to create a fresh and relaxed environment. A feature ‘cage-light’ made of red steel is the centrepiece of the space running above a 7m meeting table.
On the opposite (north) side is Campus’ high-tech, triple-height, 200-person capacity auditorium. Here our design consciously retains part of the building’s original internal structure, including steel ceiling beams, allowing for future floor plan extension in the case that more co-working space is needed. Conversely, a large curtain can be drawn across the auditorium room to create a smaller space for more intimate presentations.
The auditorium takes advantage of the large, west-facing windows drawing in natural light; now double glazed to keep sound in, as well as out. Likewise, the auditorium’s south-facing wall was designed to let light in, but has been cleverly designed to retain privacy. Its clean and bold graphic lines translate Campus’ overall graphic theme, inspired by Madrid’s streetscape.
Campus Madrid’s second and third floors are occupied by Google’s members. Over these two floors, upholstered nooks for private meetings and bespoke mobile breakout benches create flexible working-spaces. Each meeting room has a colour palette inspired by famous Spanish artists including Picasso and JoaquínSorolla y Bastida.