As side effect of an important commission for designing a multi program complex in an old hat factory, we were given the opportunity to establish our architecture studio temporarily in what’s perhaps every architect’s dream: a huge old industrial warehouse.
The warehouse -kindly provided to us by the clients, for as long it takes to see it through- possess remarkable qualities in terms of space, sun light and openness. Its precarious thermal conditions, however, made it also barely inhabitable.
We required an ephemeral and disposable enclosure that would allow us to operate in conditions of comfort and livability, and achieved in a minimum amount of time for as cheap as possible.
The final result is a modest timber structure of 2-by-4’s, completely cladded in translucid 4 mm. thick polycarbonate honeycomb sheets (105 x 290 cms.), including the ceiling. Every element was designed considering commercial dimensions, reducing waste to the minimum. And, to avoid any interior structural element, we used prefab H beams -manufactured in pine wood slats and OSB boards- capable of covering the whole between walls while supporting the weight of the entire polycarbonate ceiling.
By this 8.5 x 8.5 x 2.9 meters box we reduced the air volume to control, and achieved thermal comfort without much effort. Two “Split” HVAC units kept the entire box at constant 21 degrees Celsius.