Gallery: Metal-Screened Print Studio is an Industrial Marvel


This office / print production building is a striking structural design with nothing to hide. Designed by young firm AMID.Cero9 for the print company Diagonal 80, the project has received a lot of attention for the unique way it creates a highly controlled production space. The raw yet delicate, highly functional space features an advanced structural beam system which is both strong and light. Brilliant daylighting shafts control and flood the floors with natural light, making the space much more enjoyable to work in.

Photo © Ignatio Bisbal
Situated in San Agustín del Guadalix, Madrid, the building is located on a long and narrow lot, which challenged the interior program. Large-format copy production takes place on the ground floor, and a mix of offices and display areas are located above. A very tight exterior metal skin coupled with an advanced HVAC helps control the interior climate.

The upper floors are supported by a double Y bracing system that transfers the weight to V wall supports. The structural system is held under tension by a cable system similar to a bridge. This structural design defines the identity of the entire building, and it can clearly be seen through the screened entrance.

Light control is essential for print production, so all of the windows are screened. Large light shafts penetrate the floor plates, diffusing light through colorful screens. The light becomes diffuse on the lower production level, illuminating the work place but not disrupting the chromatic pint quality. The overall effect is industrial yet gentle.

+ Diagonal 80

Via Architectural Review

Images © Andrea Illan


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  1. Andrew Michler December 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    @citizen7- You are spot on about poorly designed daylighting that can simply add unwanted heat. Most glass high rises we see are totally dependent on huge AC system to keep them habitable no matter how ‘advanced’ the glass is.

    This building first off has relatively little glass, and it is screened which significantly cuts off the heat gain. Properly place light shafts mean that they can cut down on lighting thus another heat load. The AC in centralized and, unusual for a commercial building, the shell is commissioned to reduce air infiltration- all leading to a high performance building with good daylight. As for the mini-split system in the window well? Your guess is as good as mine, this building houses a lot of equipment so the may have had more hot air rising that they thought.

  2. citizen7 December 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    The challenge with “daylighting” is controlling the heat that infiltrates & accumulates inside the building with sunlight.
    The unsightly wall mounted A/C units scattered around the building (and even in the “light well” itself) may have been added on after construction was complete because the heat entering in the building was still more than what they’d originally designed for.
    Buildings like Diagonal80, the Naturhus in Sweden (see yesterday’s post), and most modern glass, steel & concrete buildings serve like greenhouses that would keep plants filled with warmth & light year round…
    and any humans inside dead from heat exhaustion unless power-hungry air-conditioning systems are installed.

  3. Holcim Awards December 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    What a great, creative design for an industrial building! I wish more companies would consider the value of good design for their buildings – be them factories, offices or showrooms.

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