Study Center and Library Caja de Cultura de Torrelodones/

Gabriel Gallegos Borges


Project Details



Torrelodones, Madrid / Spain


Transformational use

Year (Design/Construction):

2018 / 2023

Area (Net/Gross):

1008.56 m2 / -
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • New use as a cultural facility after its commercial activity ceased.
  • The outdoor patio, previously a residual space, is repurposed for children’s outdoor activities
  • Most of the existing elements of the buildings were retained and enhanced
  • Creation of a small square in front of the building reinforcing the public use of the building.

Initial state. Designed by Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza in 1994, the property is known as Villa Fabriciano, as is the house also built by the architect for the same owner in 1987, and also located in the town of Torrelodones, Madrid.

The building housed, on its two levels above ground, a commercial space for the sale and exhibition of furniture as well as a residential annex that had a separate entrance and interior staircase; at the semi-basement level it had workshop, warehouse and facilities spaces.

After its commercial activity was abandoned, it was finally acquired by the City Council with the purpose of carrying out the renovation and adaptation works for the new use as a cultural facility, a Municipal Library in the core of the municipality known as Torrelodones-Colonia.

The isolated building is delimited on the North and West orientations by Jesusa Lara and Ángel Yagüe Streets and on the East and South by a patio that borders neighboring plots; its appearance is sober, regular, a compact volume with a rectangular base, covered with stoneware cladding, on which the two covering pavilions stand out: truncated slate pyramids crowned by two skylights. This coverage constitutes the reference, the main element of the building, responsible for the qualification of its external image in the urban context.

The plan is rectangular, the sum of two squares that are the base of the covering pavilions from which the organization lines are established through three longitudinal and six transversal bays, at whose intersections the vertical structure is arranged: reinforced concrete supports in their lower levels and tubular steel pillars on the upper one, on which the metal structure of the two pavilions emerges.

Adaptation. The renovation works of the property aimed to achieve a functional, flexible space, suitable for the new use. They included demolition and consolidation work, as well as the incorporation of new structures; among the interventions carried out it is worth highlighting:

– Demolition of partitions. In particular the elimination of the ceiling of the house that prevented, partially blurring, the vision of the covering structure; the spatial entity announced from the exterior visualization of the coverage pavilions was thus recovered. The scarce natural lighting provided by the skylights, also mitigated by the dark tint of the wood, was alleviated by opening new Windows in the longitudinal enclosure oriented to the interior patio, thus providing a level of lighting in line with its new use as a reading space. Motorized carpentry was installed in the skylights to facilitate ventilation of the under-deck space.

– On the two upper levels, specific furniture has been installed throughout its interior perimeter that incorporates paneling, shelves, study tables and complementary control and information tables; It also served to house, hiding, the ventilation ducts.

– For evacuation reasons, a new staircase has been incorporated, made using a light steel and wood structure that aims to be integrated as part of the furniture. While the existing staircase, with two sections, has a more static, closed character, the new staircase, through its linear arrangement occupying the void between the two upper levels, begins an open, processional ascent.

– Partially taking advantage of the supports of the existing pergola structure on the outer perimeter of the building adjacent to Ángel Yagüe Street, a gallery has been created that constitutes a portal or hallway of the library, a space that acts as a filter between it and the street.

– The outdoor patio, previously of a residual nature, is conditioned and recovered through the creation of a pergola expansion space for the development of children’s outdoor activities, with direct access from the children’s library; creation of a sunken courtyard as a new access to the semi-basement level.

– Improvement of the immediate urban environment, thus creating a small square as a visual-acoustic filter with the road on Jesusa Lara Street. The pedestrianization of Ángel Yagüe Street was also proposed, which was carried out, but not, incomprehensibly, the row of lime trees that were to serve as solar protection for the glazed gallery.

Functional areas. The structural organization and formal characteristics of the existing building have facilitated its adaptation for the organization of the library’s functional program on its three levels.

– At the semi-basement level the aim was to achieve a large and flexible space for various complementary activities: study, conferences, exhibitions…

Access via the existing staircase to this level has been complemented with an entrance from the exterior patio through a sunken courtyard, to which the rest area located on this level opens, with immediate communication with the access gallery to the library.

– At the access level there is a control-information desk in front of the main entrance; the youth section, comic library and media library, as well as the self-loan service, are distributed on this floor. The children’s library is also located, isolated and with a separate entrance from the gallery, which also has access to the pergola patio-garden.

– On the upper level is the adult area with reading areas, multimedia and internet media and periodicals.



  • Collaborating architect: Gabriel Gallegos Alonso
  • Work execution direction: Raúl López Grañeda, technical architect
  • Municipal supervision: Francisco Saro González, public works technical engineer
  • Facility projects: José Miguel Cámara Rey, industrial engineer
  • Structure calculation: Félix Camazón Carvajal, Juan Carlos Alonso Monje
  • Client: Torrelodones City Council



  • Phase 3: MANILE S.A.


Photographer: Gabriel Gallegos Alonso


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