ignacio g. galán
[ igg - office for architecture ]

New York / Madrid
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Refurbishment and division into two apartments of a house in Madrid (built)

Madrid (Spain) / 2012

Collaborator: Claudia Mainardi

Following contemporary social trends and real state dynamics, the owners of a big apartment in the center of Madrid decided to divide it into two smaller units for the reduced requirements of their two daughters. A different arrangement of rooms around common spaces is proposed for each case, in an exploration of architecture's participation in the configuration of the social dynamics of diverse domesticities. The corridor is explored as a the main technology mediating these dynamics, following the two main narratives associated to it: corridor as the technology of privacy (Evans) or as one leading to different forms of socialization (Jarzombek). In one of the units it becomes a valve that makes access to each room independent from the others and from the living area, while maintaining a considerable width that allows it to become access, study room and kitchen. Inn the other, it disappears to become a common family/play room  to which the different bedrooms open. Repeated visits to the house and consequent post occupancy evaluations have revealed how the dynamics internal to each unit (and between them) have taken different forms, both mobilizing the potential of the two distributions, and subverting them as well.

Perspectival floorplan and post-occupancy evaluations


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  • About Open or Close

    [igg - office for architecture] is a design and research office, particularly focusing on architecture's role in the articulation of society. The designs of the office have been awarded in competitions including the First Prize for the New Velodrome in Medellín, and he was finalist to the 2014 Iakov Chernikhov Prize. His work has led to the production of several publications and exhibitions including the installation Cinecittá Occupata for the 2014 Venice Biennale by invitation of the general curator Rem Koolhaas, and is part of the permanent collection of the Pompidou Center.

    The work of the office unfolds through diverse media and platforms and is continuously informed by different kinds of conversations and collaborations. Together with the After Belonging Agency, Ignacio g. Galán is the Chief Curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale (Graham Foundation Award 2015). He previously collaborated in the research project Radical Pedagogies, led by Beatriz Colomina at Princeton SOA, and has co-curated its exhibition at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale and at the 2014 Venice Biennale, where it was awarded a Special Mention of the Jury. 

    Galán studied Architecture at ETSAMadrid and TUDelft, he graduated as a Fulbright Scholar from the MArchII program at Harvard GSD, and has a PhD in Architecture History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton. He has been a Fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome. He is Term Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Barnard+Columbia Colleges and has taught studios and seminars at Columbia GSAPP and PennDesign.

  • Statement Open or Close

    We understand architecture as a key agent participating in the articulation of society. 

    We are concerned with architecture's relation to cultural cultural transfers, material exchanges, and population transience in a global context. The relation of these forms of circulation to architecture, conventionally associated with control, enclosure, permanence, and stability, remains a realm for further inquiry and intervention.

    We are additionally interested in the objects, media technologies, and institutions transforming architecture's individual occupations, collective operations, and diverse types of mobilization, particularly concerning the architectures of residence. 

    These emphases lead the work of the office and continuously challenge our methods of analysis and our design practice.