Ensalada
A decentralised practice
Madrid, ES

Ensalada, founded in 2015 in Madrid, is a group of architects who are constantly interested in new ways of approaching their environments and contexts. They are always working in-between fields, from urbanism to communication, from industrial design to art, from digital to pure analogic, we look for ways to expand our knowledge and understanding of our surroundings.

 

Slowly building a team 

We met at the architecture school, we were friends and classmates and we always worked together on the university projects, so the process of setting up a studio was quite organic. When each of us finished university and started to get small commissions, he or she contacted the others so we could do it together and so we started assembling then the team we are today, where our personal and work relationship unites us in the same way.

 

Leaving emails out of the negotiations

Being such a large team, we have always had a very large heterogeneity of approaches to projects, something that can be perceived as a “weakness” but in which we find our strength. We discuss a lot; we talk a lot and we debate a lot until we find the exact ways to tackle each of the projects. We consider ourselves good "sellers" face to face, we know that when we have a proposal in which the client may hesitate, it is better to organise a face-to-face meeting than to send an email or have a telephone conversation. For a project that we are currently developing, the client came with the idea of a square patio for a residential building, and we knew that it would be very difficult to make them change their minds, but through our enthusiasm and our previous work, we managed to convince them to make a circular patio; something that would never have happened by email ????.

 

Maintaining a decentralised practice

We have quite scattered routines, some of us are not together in the same city, there are people in Mexico, London and Madrid, so we are a fairly delocalised office. We usually divide the projects into sub-teams within the studio and the normal thing is to have weekly or bi-weekly meetings to take a look at the development of the projects together. As for daily routines we are very diverse and flexible, each of us adapt our practice to our needs. We have recently begun to count, in a more exhaustive way, the hours of work dedicated to each project to be able to evaluate in a more faithful way the dedication that both as a team and individually we dedicate to each project and that also helps us to combine work and personal life.

 

Distributed office spaces

Until relatively recently, our base of operations was the coworking Espacio Ucrania in Madrid, where we shared space with other studios such as Zuloark, with whom we have collaborated on multiple occasions. Now we have moved to a small studio in the center of Madrid that is almost brand new. Because we are a completely horizontal and delocalised office, we have the freedom for each one to work where it suits them best, because for us space means comfort and a way to share more knowledge between us, but we would not say that it is a key axis to our practice.

 

Beginning to select projects

In our case we started our independent career almost accidentally, we have never made too great of an effort to project ourselves into the future, working on what we could the best we could, always trying that each project we did was our best project to date. It is now when we are doing that work of understanding and imagining where we want to be in the future, choosing which projects we want to focus on in a more conscious way.

 

Giving value to care and attention

In the short term we want to continue working to finalise the first public projects that are under construction today and continue to strengthen our portfolio of private clients. The idea in the medium / long term is to be able to continue making projects that excite us both in the private and public sectors, increasing the scale, but while always paying attention to the smallest details. We are also very interested in developing our facet most closely related to education and pedagogy that in these years we have begun to cultivate; in short, to continue doing interesting projects without losing the mindset of care and affection with which we do things today.

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29 Casa Mjico WEB ensalada works

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LCDTO 01 ensalada works

Photography Courtesy of Ensalada






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