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issue 46 - October/November 2018
CURVE magazine cover October/November 2018
Inspire  Project  


A Madrid Coffee House with Panache

Designed by Andres Jaque's Office for Political Innovation, this project transforms the former 1946 garage of Gutierrez Soto's most significant building, located in the geographical center of Madrid, into a combination of a bakery, cafe and experimental restaurant. The original volume and structure of the building was recovered, leaving a five meter high space with massive openings onto the streets.

Since 2008, architecture in Madrid has suffered the hegemony of low wage based corporate franchises that have concluded a slow invasion of the city. Within nine years, this process has marginalized and brought close to extinction the whole material and human context of marble, leather, gold chrome plated metal, and rare wood paneling craftwork that has, since the 1960s, been the social base in the development of the network of Madrid's cafeterias: shining, comfortable places where anonymous service is provided and where this service, delivered with equal and standardized courtesy to everyone, has quickly turned them into spaces where women and LGBTQ communities feel safe, supported and able to socialize.

This project is the result of working with a small number of highly qualified marble manufacturers, leather upholsterers, metal benders and chrome platers, rare wood panelers and artisan varnishers behind the material production of Madrid's cafeterias. The project took their skills a step further to reintroduce into the city's ecosystem the dissident space of the independent cafeteria as a resistance to corporate hegemony.

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