Makro, the well known international cash and carry brand were looking for an environmentally-friendly building for its headquarters in Madrid, Spain; a place where tradition and innovation would intertwine to give the company a new, elegant building.
Having the ideal size and location, an old materials warehouse near the centre of Madrid was chosen. The project involved the part demolition and reconstruction of the old brick and reinforced concrete structure. This enabled the creation of two courtyards and a double-height ground floor allowing light to penetrate into the heart of the building.
Together with a new glass skin which replaced the old concrete envelope, extensive use of zinc sheet and galvanized support steel has been made throughout the new facades.
This concept was used in four different configurations within the façade; in opaque areas, smooth and perforated fretwork panels are alternated with glass panels sofits are clad with zinc trays that have been worked to produce a rhythmic pattern folded zinc elements that diffuse light into the working areas cladding existing concrete pillars.
Hidden from view is a network of galvanized steel that acts as a supporting grill to the zinc panels.
The external facade of the Makro building reflects the traditional use of zinc over centuries in many European cities as a roofing material. The architect wanted to create a humble building that resonated with the industrial history of the location and that of a modern low maintenance aesthetic.
Architect: Enrique Baraji & Asociados
Image: Jesus Granada