Langarita-Navarro Arquitectos transformed a 1920s Belgian sawmill into the ambitious new Medialab-Prado Center in Madrid by renovating the existing structure with modular spaces inserted throughout the campus. This modern adaptive reuse project uses the industrial LA Serreria Belga building’s concrete walls as an exoskeleton for a flexible structure inside that can grow with the needs of Medialab-Prado. Lit at night with colored LEDs, the renovation is a research laboratory and exhibition space that focuses on art and digital culture.
Langarita-Navarro Arquitectos‘ flexible renovation for Medialab-Prado is nicknamed The Thing (La Cosa). The project occupies the original walls of the mill, but the interior is made up of lightweight and durable materials that can be moved or recycled should the rooms need renovating again.
The largest modular element was inserted into the building’s courtyard. It scales three stories and is outfitted with translucent walls. At night the structure is illuminated by color-changing LED lights, which lend a warm glow to the open-air courtyard.
To tailor the interior, Langarita-Navarro brought in wooden boxes to help break up the spaces with small rooms and entryways. Rustic wooden benches and other furnishings were chosen to outfit each floor. By inserting new rooms and staircases into the Sawmill, Medialab-Prado transformed a historic building’s shell into a flexible, modern space suited for their client’s needs.