Green House Design

This is the first project built for Second Home outside London. It is located in an ‘L’ shape wing of the Lisboa Mercado da Ribeira, a popular landmark built in 1882. The only real idea behind this project is to preserve the character and main features of this space while adapting it to a workspace. The building character is defined by a large open space flaked by column shaped iron windows and beautiful iron-cast trusses in the roof. We preserved all of them and kept the inherited idea of one single open space, making small companies to share a huge table (70×10 meters) divided in three, encouraging the relationship and communication between them. The curved cuts in the table give members their own private area to focus on their work while keeping a sense of community.

Two completely different spaces have been created in the given ‘L’ shaped plan – the main working space with the long table sits in the longest part of the L, and the café lounge area is located in the shortest part of the L. Both designed to be distinct and even opposite spaces – one for people to work and the other for people to relax, talk and unwind. Each space with a totally different ambience and personality. Another main goal was to reduce the energy consumption of the building. Working with one of the best climate engineers we have ever worked with, Adam Ritchie, we were able to eliminate the air conditioning system and create a radiant floor for cooling and heating in complement with natural ventilation controlled with motors and parts taken from the conventional green house systems.

And perhaps that is where we took the inspiration from to give privacy and good air quality placing 1,000 plants on top of that big table. Actually these 1,000 guys are the only thing that you notice when you enter the main space, even if 250 chairs, 100 lamps and 250 people are sharing that densely occupied big “greenhouse table”.

Photo credit: Iwan Baan

Fact File

Client: Second Home

Architects: José Selgas and Lucía Cano

Architects collaborators: Julio Cano, Bárbara Bardin, Inés Olavarrieta, Paolo Tringali, Giulia Cosentino, Víctor Jiménez, Ricardo Mancho, Barbara Pitto, Carolina Hidalgo.

Consultants: Adam Ritchie/Ritchie+Daffi n (Environmental engineers), Grow Green (Gardening)

Year of completion: 2016

Company names of products/materials used: Selgascano/secondhand design furniture