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ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
Utopicus Paseo de la Habana, Madrid
February 2022 | 4 minutes

The Paseo de la Habana, two minutes from Azca and just five from Nuevos Ministerios, is the location that has been selected for this new flexible workspace by Utopicus. A building located in the financial district of Madrid, an area easily accessible by public transport and with all the leisure and restaurant services that the neighbourhood has to offer.

Utopicus Paseo de la Habana occupies the ground floors of a residential building with completely independent entrances. Its 5,745 m² are the result of having joined a previously existing business centre with a unique space located in the courtyard in between the buildings on that block, which in the past was a shopping centre but hadn't been used for many years.

Designed by the London-based architecture studio, Binom Architects, the new space is inspired by English pleasure gardens as places of artistic innovation where different social classes mixed, in reference to the character of Utopicus as a space for making connections with a wide variety of offices, meeting and socialisation spaces, and services. For its part, the Madrid architecture and urban planning firm, RCCyP, has overseen the project management and permitting, as well as the development of the structures and installations.

As it has done in other Utopicus centres in the capital, Actiu has participated in furnishing this new space. A place that has undergone a complete renovation, with a rough-and-ready atrium whose structure has been reinforced, and a highly compartmentalised business centre that had to be demolished. Only the original structure has been preserved, to which elements for the movement of people and two new English courtyards have been added, which, together with the restoration of the original skylights, favours natural lighting in the space. All of this is in addition to a carefully designed artificial lighting project, developed by RTD studio in close collaboration with London's Binom Architects and which uses light to enhance the project's main elements and spaces.

On a usability level, Utopicus Paseo de la Habana goes a step further in addition to the offices and meeting rooms found in the rest of the Utopicus spaces, with training rooms, rooms for events and multipurpose spaces. With a capacity for 753 seats, which is the largest Utopicus space in the capital to date, it allows private modules to be incorporated for companies with more than 100 professionals.

Distributed around the courtyards and the main atrium, open to maximise the entry of natural light and with areas of natural vegetation that accommodate a variety of different environments, the work areas are designed as places where it is possible to connect or disconnect. In them, and as has been done in its other spaces in Madrid, Utopicus has once again combined the functional and minimalist Vital Pro tables with the versatile and comfortable Stay chairs, whose innovative backrest provides the user with a wide range of movement and a completely adaptable fit. Functional and discreet Bucks under the tables offer individual storage and keep the space tidy.

In some offices, and as part of the customisation catalogue available to clients, collaborative furniture has been included for videoconferences and meeting points, such as the Twist high tables, stools from the Noom range, locker modules, storage cabinets and the Twist flexible work tables. Agile and dynamic solutions, whose purpose is to respond to a new nomadic way of working that is in constant change and movement, based on interaction and collaboration.

Brought to life in pavilions made of rope and metal mesh spread throughout the space, the common areas (coffee points, meeting rooms, disconnection and rest areas, printing areas, etc.) stand out for their characteristic and easily recognisable language, which facilitates their use.

The elegant and distinctive Arkitek table in one of the premium meeting rooms, the mobile and folding Talent 300 tables in the versatile training room, the comfortable Noom 50 chairs in the events room, the informal and dynamic Bend poufs in the Magnetic Meeting Room, as well as the small Bend tables in the common areas are some of the other Actiu ranges used in this new Utopicus space.

With an aesthetic that combines the industrial finish of sheet metal and polycarbonate with the artisanal techniques of macramé or the natural texture of cork, priority has been given to the use of materials with absorption properties that guarantee acoustic comfort, such as cork, woodchip ceilings or skirting boards using perforated sheet metal. All this creates a neutral backdrop, only interrupted by one-off splashes of colour on structural elements such as the spiral staircases and the railings of the central atrium, the coffee points, the booths for making phone calls or the printing areas. Envisioned as landmarks in the space, the entrance canopy, the staircase, the tree garden and the artificial hill define singular spaces such as the entrance, the club or the spaces for events.

The new space reflects Utopicus' commitment to transforming and accompanying organisations that are moving towards a business model that provides social, cultural and environmental value. A sustainable and circular architecture project, which has brought back to life an abandoned building in the middle of the city, incorporating HVAC systems, water saving systems, material use and reuse systems, waste management and energy savings that come from the lighting system itself.

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