After defining the identity of the estate agency MVC, it was time to transfer the brand’s mood to a physical space, in this case the company’s points of sale, the only anchor between the product and the company, the only place where one can experience MVC in a physical, direct way. The question was simple: how do you create a home atmosphere in a corporate space, and how do you generate a top quality environment where you can feel as if you were in your own house?
The sensations conveyed by the points of sale had to be in full alignment with MVC’s positioning as a brand, the product’s communication and client acquisition. After that, the experiential value had to be the code to follow at all levels, avoiding the classical feel of a sale booth or a traditional office. For this project we partnered up with Arquitectura-G, a benchmark in global architecture, awarded with the Mies van der Rohe Emerging Architect prize in 2015, partners and friends we’ve been collaborating with for years, and who have a very good understanding of the concept of comfort in today’s houses.
We tried to make visitors feel as if they were walking around a house garden, to move them into a home environment where they can feel comfortable. ALBERT GUERRA, ARQUITECTURA-G
MVC’s points of sale revolve around the concept of home and experience. Therefore, the space has been conceived as a horizontal meeting point, without hierarchy, without counters; instead it’s domestic and comfortable. The setting and the nature of the space have been designed to offer clients an intimate atmosphere which recreates the three main meeting spaces in a house: the dining room, the sitting room and the kitchen. In this way, clients can choose in what space they feel more comfortable for their meeting, being able to even meet in the garden. Clients will come to have a coffee, not to go away with an advertising leaflet.
Historically speaking, the idea of a house has always been associated with a sequence of various assembled pieces, so the starting point was predefined from the beginning: the desired feel for the point of sale is achieved through combining the various parts of the house. Starting with a core module inspired by a standard sale booth, six different versions have been created to come together. The great amount of combination possibilities that this offers responds to the needs of each property development (budget, available site/land etc.). Also, this system design allows for new models, ideas and possibilities to be added as new needs arise.
The Iberian Peninsula boasts a great bioclimatic diversity, so it’s essential to adapt the garden design of the points of sale to the climate of each zone (Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Continental). Furthermore, by using highly resistant native species with a great landscaping value we are contributing to a better conservation and adding an aesthetic value. In collaboration with landscape designer Esther Ribes, each intervention will have a tree species determined by the bioclimatic zone where the development is located. It will also have four bush species for the areas adjacent to the each module, as well as a grass species. These areas will be covered in vegetation, offering an image of density and uniformity and preserving as much as possible the moist in the ground.
The prefab modules are stand-alone objects designed independently from their future location. They make up an autonomous system that can be adapted to endless conditions and its ultimate goal is to communicate the brand’s values. In terms of the vegetation, a catalogue has been proposed containing a wide range of species to meet the needs of the different climatic zones in Spain. ALBERT GUERRA, ARQUITECTURA-G
The suggested indoor plants are mainly tropical plants which in the wild live in similar conditions to those in our indoor spaces: warm, with soft light and no drafts. Shade plants, apt for any location within the points of sale where there is a slight indirect light. We wanted to bring the attention to nature also to the room, conferring a contemporary mood to the point of sale.
ARQUITECTURA-G is an architecture studio with headquarters in Barcelona, dedicated mainly to building and lecturing. The material aspect is central for the studio and it is conceived as an area of research.
FOLCH How was the process of aligning all that Arquitectura-G is with the image and the visual language of Metrovacesa?
ALBERT It has been a natural process; we have been able to find a lot of points from which we have felt comfortable enough to start developing our proposal. The previous work we have received from Folch has no doubt helped materialize a coherent proposal.
FOLCH How have you projected Folch’s mood and branding to the space, to the design of something physical?
ALBERT By giving continuity to the ideas expressed in Folch’s conceptualization and transferring to the points of sale the language of domesticity and comfort and everything we associate with houses, learnt through the work we’ve developed in the last 10 years. We have taken good care of the previous spaces, the indoor-outdoor relationship, materials, and furniture selection.
FOLCH You are working on more projects with Metrovacesa. What has the collaboration been like? Are there any parallels between other projects and the design of Metrovacesa’s points of sale?
ALBERT We are working together to provide the brand with a new language in terms of its communication and the image it projects externally. It’s inevitable that all our work has a common thread, a series of decisions, visuals, styles, habits… which ultimately make up the image that Arquitectura-G is recognized for.
FOLCH The global shape of the points of sale is square, as it they were various blocks you could play with. Where does this structure come from?
ALBERT We used the basic structure of a type of prefab systems, adding and combining them and searching for the essence of what we understand a house to be, a group of interconnected rooms.
FOLCH Why do you think Metrovacesa chose you?
ALBERT We had never worked on this type of project before, but there are parallels between what we do –houses- and the image sought for Metrovacesa’s new visual language.
FOLCH What is the difference between the (estate agency) client of today compared to that of 10 years ago?
ALBERT Clients nowadays are a lot more concerned with the how than with the why. They are a lot more interested in the way they live, the experiences they will enjoy in the house and everything around them.
FOLCH Can we see the visual style of Arquitectura-G reflected in the design of the points of sale?
ALBERT We conceived this project as an opportunity to work with prefab modules and the possibility of adding and combining them. It’s a different field of work to what we’re used to, but we believe we have imbued the project with everything that interests us.