Selgascano's Subterranean Office

Selgascano’s Subterranean Office

The architects at Selgascano sought the ability to work beneath the trees, while being shielded from the elements. Their finished building is a sleek, semi-subterranean space that allows light and views of trees to flood in. Their innovative use of fiberglass and plexiglass create a shell that gives them the spatial qualities they sought, however procuring the material proved to be complicated. As they could not find a fiberglass fabricator willing to take on a project this small, they had to be inventive. Using pultruded pieces of FRP from a catalogue they were able to sidestep the custom fabrication route. One of these elements was a curved piece only produced for the roofs of a few train cars in Germany,which meant they had to wait for an order from the German train company that they could piggyback on. For the acrylic section, they had three separate fabricators working on it, one to bend, one to assemble, and another to fabricate the two sides from 10mm methacrylate and steel.They wanted the fiberglass side to shade, but still be translucent, so in addition to using translucent fiberglass panels, they also used a translucent foam for insulation. The results are a testament to ingenuity and resourcefulness!

Madrid 2006-07 Photos via Iwan Baan.