During the summer of 2008 the architecture study of Arturo Franco -in collaboration with Juan Arregui- won an open bid in which more than 100 teams took part, seeking for the concession of the refurbishment of buildings 8 and 9 of the former Slaughterhouse of Madrid. The intention was to transform the 15,000 m2 of the tripe area and the leather drying facilities into a space capable of having different cultural, artistic and leisure uses.
The preliminary project presented under the slogan main theme trusted in the free distribution of spaces based on a sequence of hemp ropes that divided the different places in a continuous manner.
The tensed ropes used the pillars as support and articulation points.
In 2010 the Town Council decided to approach the first stage of the works to solve the structural consolidation of the tow buildings. The idea was to introduce the reinforcement necessary so that the structure could be capable of receiving new uses and of solving the pathologies of the former structure made of reinforced concrete. A detailed and thorough study of these pathologies indicated us that the reinforced concrete structure, one of the first built in Spain, had practically lost all its load capacity and therefore it would not be capable of supporting the programmed activity.
From this moment onwards, the structural reinforcement became part of the project. We used this circumstance as an opportunity.
The manoeuvres necessary to reinforce the building had to take part actively in the original idea and showing all their personality, without hiding.
The conventional way of carrying out this type of reinforcements on reinforced concrete structures, basically consists in clamping the pillars with another metal structure, in placing a steal corset to the building. Basing ourselves on this possibility, we tried to search for others.
Finally, we made our decision: to separate the new metal reinforcement structure 20 centimetres. Therefore, both structures work independently and only cooperate at certain moments, when necessary. From there onwards the rest of decisions were taken by the project itself. The decisions were taken by the system posed.
A work philosophy had been born.
All the agents involved in the works: technicians, coordinators, directors, managers, supervisors and labourers, because they had understood the system and its meaning, participated actively to adapt it to each circumstance, to every interference to each exception.
The result of this first stage in the intervention of building 8 and 9 has its own entity.
The personality of the two structures that coexist at a distance, cooperate and multiply their capacity to transform spaces. As the works advanced we were all surprised to discover how a complex, multiple, mirror sensation was created from the simplicity of an elemental decision of common sense.
Both languages conserve their character, whilst they wait for the next stage in which they will charge forward, moment at which everything will make full sense, when the ropes will wander around the universe that has been born between both worlds, between both structures.