All photos: Ensamble Studio
Back in 2006, a competition in Madrid challenged designers and architects to restore the multiple warehouse buildings of a local slaughterhouse into a something that benefitted the community. Ensamble Studio's winning design, called the 'Reader's House', gutted the industrial structure, while preserving its peculiar character. Completed in 2010, the project transforms the slaughterhouse into a surprisingly fresh, clean, and vibrant educational center.
Instead of a complete overhaul, the studio worked with the warehouse's existing design, combining open, flexible spaces for public events with divided private spaces for research and study. The building's 40 ton concrete beams act as channels and walkways that connect the center to other buildings. The study area overlooks the open ground floor, a more dynamic space that can be used for hosting events and activities. Adjacent warehouse buildings were also restored and reprogrammed as the Reader's House offices, work spaces, and even a multi-purpose auditorium.