gon architects designed the new reception of the madrid ocular microsurgery institute, OCULUM, with the aim to create a link between the world of ophthalmology and architecture. they translated their idea through a spatial narrative that unfolds around optical devices such as lenses, photometers, refractometers, or microscopes.
all images by subliminal image
gon architects envisioned OCULUM as a visually technological space and created everything from the idea to the construction from absolute scratch. the whole process is completely innovative and handcrafted, thought of and made from a non-existent product on the market, manufactured by a metal worker in an industrial warehouse in the neighborhood of tetuán, in madrid.
the designers custom-made a system consisting of a continuous belt measuring 41.5 meters in length and 2.96 in height that adapts like a glove to the existing space. they added to it a continuous enclosure formed by 17 lightboxes with a depth of 6 cm and a 4 mm opal white methacrylate in its interior, illuminated by wired and encapsulated led modules with optical lens. they then covered all of this with 13 aluminum plates lacquered in a textured 9006 RAL with its front cut out by circular figures to better dissipate heat.
the space is visualized as a large luminaire made up of 1,184 lenses that emit a constant and homogeneous light that broadens and magnifies the lobby while welcoming the visitor to the ophthalmological center. the reflections, refractions, and backlighting effects along with the notions and limits of interior/exterior, public/private, and inside/outside all together help in achieving an atmosphere of magic in the place.
in addition, gon architects designed OCULUM also as a tribute to jean prouvé’s dream and his tenacious experimental search in the world of prefabrication, to classic barbarella film by roger vadim, starring jane fonda under the circular spotlights of film studios and her space-age wardrobe created by paco rabanne, and to gonzalo pardo, the architect himself and his best geometric designs which also include circles.
architects: gon architects
client: miranza Group
location mirasierra, madrid, spain
area: 100 sqm (1076.39 sqft)
photography: subliminal image (miguel de guzmán + rocío romero)
video: ismyshot (ismael arriola) + andrés álvarez
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edited by: yasmina karam | designboom