Calle de Benigno Soto, 14
Moneo Brock Studio is an architecture firm characterized by the intensity of its design focus. The Studio's principals, Belén Moneo (Harvard, 1988) and Jeff Brock (Princeton, 1985), formed their professional partnership in 1993 in New York City after receiving their Masters of Architecture from Columbia University’s GSAPP in 1991. Over the course of its 22-year history, the team has completed architectural projects ranging in scale from large public buildings to high-end domestic interiors, and has designed furniture, packaging and bathroom fixtures for industrial production. Moneo and Brock are primarily design architects, with broad experience collaborating with larger firms and consultants in the production and coordination of architectural designs from conceptualization through construction completion. Maintaining ties with New York, the firm opened its principal office in Madrid, Spain, in 2002, where it remains today. They are currently working on international projects in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Moneo Brock Studio's architects are attentive to the bond between form and function as well as the social and economic consequences of their architecture in today’s society. The team has been able to deliver projects that are carefully considered throughout from the urban scale to the interior detailing to form a coherent whole. Of paramount importance is the degree to which they imbue their projects with a legible conceptual framework that elevates the work above the mere service of building program.
In their designs one can find an individuality of approach; they never bring formulaic responses to any set of problems, but treat each project as a new beginning and as an opportunity to investigate the vocabulary of architecture: space, light, and material. They pay great attention to the modulation of movement and of the qualities of natural light across the spaces of the projects, movement guided by light. The material qualities of building elements, the selection of building materials as well as interior and exterior finishes, are always carefully controlled to be in concordance with the project's fundamental concept. In developing a plan that will structure a space, the studio's focus will invariably question the relationship between the interior and the outside environment, both in the sense of the projects' urban context or natural setting, and the local climate, giving broad importance to sustainable design.
Moneo and Brock have lectured extensively on their work from Europe to the USA to China, Turkey, Panama, Guatemala and Peru, and their work has been widely published.
The loft is located in a building that was entirely transformed into mixed commercial and residential use in downtown Manhattan.
Our intention was to create a flexible space for living and working, without depriving the area in the middle of the plan of valuable daylight, and to do so with a very low budget. In order to achieve this, we inserted into the space two very straightforward volumes that hug the north and the south walls to house the “services” (kitchen, bathrooms, darkroom, laundry, and closets). These volumes were each given very different identities in their surface treatment, mica panels to the north and paper with silver leaf to the south. In both cases our goal was to use the iridescent and spectral qualities of the chosen materials to liven the masses, create illusions of depth and carry light. To preserve the open feeling and the views to the outside, partitions running across the space are translucent and movable.
The lighting strategy became a critical factor to the design. Our intervention counters a very strong repetitive array of heavy beams on the ceiling with lightweight wood framing members, creating a virtual plane below the concrete that is light and diaphanous. The simple lamps are shielded from the viewers by cowls formed out of folded galvanized steel plate and Plexiglas diffusers suspended directly from the wood members.
New York, USA
1999 Phase 1
Jeffrey Brock, Belén Moneo
Alicia Velázquez, Christian Mitman
This museum project for Fundación Telefónica, the cultural institution of Spain’s largest telephone company, occupies four floors in the historic Telefónica Building at the top of Madrid’s most central street, the Gran Via. To address the difficult relationships between the reclaimed spaces of the old building, we designed a central, cohesive circulation path that connects all galleries and cultural spaces on the upper floors to one another and to the street.
Parts of five of the existing floor plates were demolished and a spiral staircase inserted in the void, weaving through an organic, sculptural form which serves simultaneously as a lateral brace for the building’s façade and structural support for the stair.
The galleries take their form from the shape of the building. Here, the floors were stripped of everything non-essential to the structure. Columns were left exposed and the ceilings covered with a suspended metal mesh. The spaces, left bare, reveal the beauty of the existing structure and allow for the maximum freedom for exhibit-specific installations.
Quanto Arquitectura, Moneo Brock Studio
Andrés Barrón, María Pierres, Albert Rubio
Gonzalba Asociados, José Luis Gonzalo, Cristina González
Moneo Brock, cincuentayocho
NB35, Jesús Jiménez, Óscar Vidal
Columbia University, one of the world most prestigious institutions for arts and sciences, greatly expands its capabilities with this building for interdisciplinary scientific research. The building is located on the Northwest corner of the University’s historic Morningside Heights Campus designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1897. It adds approximately 4.500 m2 of laboratory space and 2.000 m2 of classroom, office and study space. It also includes a 1.300 m2 research library, a 170-seat auditorium, a public café and a new entrance to the Campus and the University’s Basketball and Volleyball Gymnasium.
Constructed above the existing Francis S. Levien Gymnasium, the site conditions posed a significant structural challenge requiring that the new building span over the 125 foot wide facility, while maintaining large open floors for laboratories, whose structural slabs needed to be stiff enough for the use of microscopes and other vibration-sensitive equipment.
This structural feat became the defining gesture of the project. By representing the structural frame on the building façade through the application of aluminum fins oriented in parallel to the frame elements, the design reveals the varied geometry of bracing elements in the resultant patchwork of light and shadow. Even as it appears to incorporate a free arrangement of diagonal truss elements, the structural frame is in fact precisely responsive to a series of eccentric loading factors integral to the design of the building volume and to the internal distribution of programmatic elements within it. The building's campus facade is almost entirely glass, revealing the interior workings of the building and emphasizing openness and a connection to the campus community.
Besides providing critical program spaces for the University, the building also forms a new gateway to the Morningside Campus, incorporating in its northern end a fluid sequence of brightly and naturally-lit spaces along a path between the street corner and the Campus level some 10 meters higher. All this is fit alongside elevator cores and service shafts within a constrained footprint in the building area not already occupied by the gymnasium.
Columbia University , Lee C. Bollinger, President
Columbia, New York, USA
Rafael Moneo, Belén Moneo, Jeffrey Brock
Benjamin Llana, Spencer Leaf, Andrés Barrón
David Brody Bond, Aedas, William Parson
Juan de Dios and Jesús Rey, Moneo Brock, Rafael Moneo Arquitecto
Turner Construction Company, Charles Whitney
Ove Arup & Partners Consulting, Daniel Brodkin
Ove Arup & Partners Consulting, Joshua Yacknowitz
Wolf and Company
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin
Fisher Marantz Stone
Turner Construction Company
Geometry has always fascinated us. When the main body of the chimney and an inclined plane intersect, a second volume is created that opens, folding down to create the horizontal surface of the grill. The chimney’s oval mouth is exposed so that the fire is visible from every angle. The shape of the chimney is compact; it can be closed when the winter season is over, on the one hand staying out of the way while on the other presenting an enigmatic form bereft of signs as to its true function.
Belén Moneo, Jeffrey Brock