The Lamigraf company, dedicated to the printing of decorative paper, wants to build a new showroom on the same site where the group’s headquarters and factory are located.
The idea for the project is to build a space that, in addition to being flexible enough to exhibit the products to potential buyers, strengthening the brand and its values, denotes – through its architecture – the activity carried out by the company.
But what exactly does Lamigraf do? It is an organisation capable of imitating any type of material with the utmost precision: from a plank of American red oak that will end up as a laminated floor in a Toronto penthouse, to a piece of Carrara marble that will end up as cladding in an Istanbul wash basin, to a hydraulic ceramic tile for an Eixample floor or as wallpaper decorating a child’s room in a Shanghai house. Any texture, any stone, any fabric, any wood, any element, can be perfectly reproduced by the giant printers in Lamigraf factories.
And how is a space capable of accommodating any material? In Borges’ famous story ‘The Library of Babel’, a total library is described, capable of holding all possible books, everything that can be expressed, “the Gnostic Gospel of Basilides, the commentary of that Gospel, the commentary of the commentary of that Gospel, the true account of your death, the version of each book in all languages, the interpolations of each book in all books, the treatise that Beda could write (and did not write) on the mythology of the Saxons, the lost books of Tacitus.
Similarly, for the Lamigraf company showroom, we propose a building conceived as a large showcase of materials, as an infinite library of samples of the company’s infinite reproductive possibilities. A building basically configured as a big skin where to arrange the samples that come out of the printers at the factories, both the new collections (in a predominant space) and the old ones (more relegated but always present). A building made from samples, conceived as an immense showcase of infinite possibilities.
Within the factory site, the new building is set up taking into account, firstly, the necessary programmatic proximity to the ‘Design’ and ‘Commercial’ areas with which the showroom will have a closer relationship. Its placement perpendicular to the offices, seeks to generate a n access square that qualifies the most public entrance of the complex. In addition, the construction of the showroom is used to reorganize the accesses to the factory, generating a new main hall (much more representative than the current one), from where it is accessed by a new entrance to the offices. This serves to rearrange the current building in its entirety which, due to different reforms, suffers from a lack of spatial hierarchy.
On the ground floor, the showroom contains the new double-height lobby from which, through a corridor, the offices are accessed. On the first floor, we find the main space of the showroom, ample and flexible, capable of hosting different activities and configured through a splitting of the exterior skin that generates the servant spaces (bathrooms, circulation, office, etc.) in its interstice.
Structurally, the external skin itself is intended to be load bearing, with a wall and bidirectional wooden framework forgings reinforced with a series of stiffening elements. The installations are also distributed through the roof and the façade which, in fact, is the only architectural operator, the only element understood as an infinite sample of materials, resolving at the same time the functional and structural issues of the building.