How do you renovate a former slaughterhouse and marketplace into a thriving creative space on a budget? Architecture firm Office for Strategic Spaces (OSS) shows how affordable and eco-friendly adaptive reuse is possible with the Factoría Cultural Matadero Madrid, a 399-square-meter warehouse in Madrid transformed into an incubator for creative industries. Completed on a relatively tight budget and timeline, the renovation primarily used sustainably sourced wood and polycarbonate for fast and reversible construction.
Built in the early 20th century, the Matadero Madrid served as a slaughterhouse and livestock market until it fell into disuse near the end of the century. The building was renovated several times under different leadership until Madrid’s City Council decided to allocate the space for sociocultural purposes. OSS’ intervention, completed in 2014, turned the complex into a creative startup hub for the extremely low budget of 105 Euros per square meter in a little under a month.
Factoría Cultural houses 120 workspaces across two floors—the architects constructed the second 85-square-meter floor using local pine lumber and multi-wall polycarbonate—outfitted with custom-designed furniture also made with untreated pinewood. LED ceiling lamps that splay out from overhead were made from waste wood. “Factoría Cultural is a reversible architecture work, which empowers, with no side effect, the visual and technical virtues of the existing El Matadero Madrid, an industrial architectural heritage site,” write the architects. “It is a space that requires minimal maintenance and, in the event Factoría’s activity ceases, it can be removed without waste.”
Images by Simona Rota