Studio Animal + Estudio Gonzalo del Val + Toni Gelabert. Arquitecte Madrid, Spain
SALIDA, a concept for the VIP lounge at ARCO, is an exterior design project that seeks to create an atmosphere where visitors feel as if they were ‘outside.’
The project unfolds in a unique context, that of the 40th edition of ARCO – the contemporary art fair of Madrid –, with health restrictions and social distancing measures still in place. The three guidelines for the concept are therefore safety, the art fair context, and exterior design. With ‘SALIDA’ (‘exit’ in Spanish), these young architects aim to mark in a natural way the social distances established during the pandemic, creating a 3x3m grid in the VIP lounge to signal spaces where it is safe to gather and interact.
The proposal uses elements common to trade fairs – platforms, timber walls, and carpets – to implement its building logic and become just another element of ARCO. A 60cm high platform lifts a continuous perimeter of 2.40m in height to set it apart from the other galleries. The interior of the pavilion is an abstract container of 1.000 m² with yellow carpeting and a grove of 100 birch trees, which along with the sun create a playful, dreamlike atmosphere where it is always dusk, and that feels like being outdoors.