Selgas Cano architecture office, by Iwan Baan

selgas cano office

Selgas Cano is a Spanish architecture firm, and this long glass tube in a little wooded ravine is the Madrid office they’ve built for themselves. The shutters over the clear roof are retractable (see the photo of the pulleys at bottom). The building seems to have inspired some wildly varying reactions from those who either find it beautiful and inspiring or who feel it’s a cramped, claustrophobic, unventilated bunker or train car – see the archdaily link to see what I mean. The superb photos are by architectural photographer Iwan Baan. Via archdaily via kenmat and maxchad. PS Both fans and detractors of this space may want to read a recent Scientific American article on the neuroscience of how room design affects work, creativity and mood. Two relevant points are that low ceilings facilitate detail work while high ceilings facilitate abstraction; and that views of nature improve creativity, focus and memory. This space offers all of those advantages – natural views, as well as ceilings that are both low and high, depending on the retraction of the roof and on which part of the room you’re in.

selgas cano office

selgas cano office

selgas cano office

selgas cano office

selgas cano office

selgas cano office

selgas cano office

selgas cano architectural office

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7 Responses to “Selgas Cano architecture office, by Iwan Baan”

  1. jana Says:

    tight spaces are frightful, but it’s one thing when you are in a subway surrounded by tunnel and entirely another when trees are everywhere. but you’re right, this is a great example of psychological significance of spaces.

  2. John Hopper Says:

    Interesting idea, but personally I would feel claustrophobic and would feel a little like a rat caught in a cage.

    Agreed, it is set in nature, but looks more coincidental than anything, as it does not really seem connected or rooted into the landscape. The building could sit equally well in a desert, under the ocean or on the Moon, that to me signifies a lack of connection with its surroundings.

    I’m not sure if I would feel like a valued employee more than an interesting subject of an experiment, by those on high. But perhaps it’s the really low ceiling that I particularly don’t like. Maybe I’m just a lofty, high ceilinged sort of guy!

  3. Lindsay Says:

    John, I’ve been starting to feel the same way, though I love the glass and the colours and can’t help feeling it’s beautiful. I do think the sound and air quality inside that tube might be quite uncomfortable… it’s an interesting experiment but I have a feeling it would be like working in a tunnel. It’s interesting that the Scientific American article didn’t deal with sound levels and quality – it’s the thing people are most unconscious of, but it makes a huge difference.

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  6. Gary Drummond Says:

    Compared to some of the dumps I’ve worked in, I would love to work there. Lots of natural sunlight and I bet it’s a fantastic walk to and from work. Definitely the mood of the workplace would change depending on whether it was rainy and dark outside or sunny and light.
    Another commentator brings up a good point. I bet there are places in the tube that have huge sound amplication. No way to make a private phone call.

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