Design Philosophy

The philosophy of MADC can be summed up in this simple punch line: “Design without sustainability is no longer design”. From this cultural standpoint, architecture becomes a process in continuous evolution from the bigger picture: people, public space, neighbourhood and the city as a whole related to climate, geography and finally the environment.

MADC’s architectural design projects always involve local resources and minimum energy consumption, creating high quality public space and integrating -when possible- citizen groups in the decision-making processes. To this end, MADC has the best engineering specialists and consultants in the field of engineering design and advance structural analysis, clean energy systems, low environmental impact materials or sociology and participatory processes, among others.

Our Services

MADC is a company that understands its economic balance from the social, cultural and environmental commitment: Design means to take care for the World. No excuses. The services we provide to public and private clients are actually a tool for the positive transformation of our environment. For MADC, architecture is itself an activity framed within The Fourth Sector: a business venture but with ethical values.

When we define our services, we like to talk about environmental design and regeneration, regardless of the territorial, urban or architectural scale; we also like to talk about symbiosis, as the mutual benefit between the city, the neighborhood and the architecture, in fact, we always work with all the scales at the same time; we use environmental certification tools such as Breeam, or demanding codes such as Passivhaus; we also quantify the reduction of GHG emissions, or the materials and systems’ carbon footprint, through advanced simulation and energy certification tools; on the other hand, attending to the scale and complexity of each project, we offer engineering, landscaping, ecology, sociology, mediation and citizen participation services.

Team

Miguel Angel Diaz Camacho

Founding partner. PhD. Architect (UPM, ETSA Madrid). Director and main designer. University professor, researcher and architecture writer and critic, he is the current president of Sustainability and Architecture Association (Spain) and author -among others- of the books “Architectural Paragraphs. Core(oh)graphies” (2016) and “Architecture & Climate Change” (2018).

Almudena Antolin Moreno

Founding partner. Diploma in Business Administration with a double major in Human Resources and Marketing (UCM, Complutense University, Madrid). Manager and commercial director, she is also responsible for the design and production of models in the architectural workshop.

Zoltan Valbuena Berrio

Junior Architect. Designer.

 

Saul Garcia Hernan

Junior Architect. Designer.

Collaborators

Engineering and energy consultants

Calter, Úrculo, ASA, Etres, Elia, Cundall, Eurobox, Vand, Atei.

 

Sociology and participatory processes

Andres Walliser

 

Landscape Architecture

Landlab. Miriam García García.

 

Research

Rafael Hernández López.

Visuals

Manu-Facturas

 

Collaborators (2011-19)

SPAIN: Gonzalo Herrero, Javier Esquiva, Sergio Sastre, Carlos Pesquera, José Antonio Oliver, Alicia Arnuero, Borja Barros, Usúe Beraza, Javier Janda, Sara García, Daniel Otero, Néstor Fernández, Rodrigo Apellániz, Jesús Fernández, Joaquín Martínez.

FRANCE: Alice Delattre

HOLLAND: Frank van Kessel.

INDIA: Padhiyar Avani, Dhwani Makadia, Naurin Pathan.

UKRAINE: Olga Tykhonova.

Innovation

MADC understands innovation as a natural condition essential to the company’s goals.  Regardless of the nature and scope of each project, innovation takes place from at least four different levels of activity: documentary methods, technology, creative process and flows culture.

On one hand, research and information gathering methodology is addressed as a scientific work supported by multidisciplinary teams, developing data landscapes as the basis for further developments; secondly, the selection of coherent and appropriate technologies and systems attending to climate, landscape, geography or environmental requirements, is key for the foundation of the proper design strategies;  third, the creative process itself is addressed from the attention to the latent opportunities in each place, developing strategies beyond  the most well-known typologies;  finally, the construction process is carried out from a new culture based on the flows of matter and energy: architecture to be understood as an environmental asset.

With this same objective, MADC collaborates with several universities in Spain, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Hungary, India or Colombia, where in addition to providing regular teaching, has given numerous lectures, courses, workshops and seminars. MADC has designed -ex novo- new necessary university programs such as the Master in Architecture and Energy or more recently, the Bachelor in Urban Management, the very first university program in the field of Urban Studies in Spain, both for the CJC University, Madrid.

MADC has also directed and took part in numerous research projects, obtaining both public and private funding for initiatives related to waste reduction, nano-climate management or the renaturation of cities. On the other hand, MADC participates regularly in congresses and attends technical seminars in institutions and postdoctoral research centers, sharing with the scientific community the innovation processes that take place within the company, as well as the research advances in the academic field.

Awards

As a result of the continuous effort made up over the last twenty years, MADC has received numerous awards in national and international competitions in the field of architecture, urban planning and environmental design. MADC have been rewarded for its built work (Ademo Foundation, Madrid 2004), publications (BIA-AR 2014, Buenos Aires) and acknowledgement for its academic work (Teaching Innovation, SEK 2017).

Awarded competitions.

2019 First Prize. Thousand Suns Public Library, Madrid City Council.

2018 Second Prize. Avintia Foundation, Madrid (restricted).

2016 Third Prize. Fear of Columns Competition, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona.

2014 First Prize of the Jury and Public Vote First Prize for “Noble materials“ (article). Biennial of Architecture of Argentina BIA-AR 2014.

2012 MADRID THINK TANK, “Zero Waste Economy” concept selected by COAM for the development of a platform on returnable components.

2009 COAM 100% Ademo Foundation selected by COAM for International exhibition and catalogue.

2006 Runner-up (A). Refurbishing of Domingo Gascón Square, Teruel (Spain).

2006 First Prize. Two viewpoints, cafe and toilet, “Cerro de los Perdigones”, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid.

2005 First Prize. 18 Terraced Houses in Parla, Madrid.

2005 Third Prize. Re-development Avda. Madrid and Plaza Constitución El Álamo, Madrid.

2005 Runner-up.xº Plaza Mayor Refurbishment in Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid.

2004 Runner-up. Competition 211 VPP Housing in Padre Ayala slum area, Ciudad Real.

2003 Finalist. Primary School in Pinto, Madrid.

2001 First Prize. National Competition Yacht Club & Harbour, Bueu, Pontevedra.

2000 Second Prize. International Competition, Peñíscola Conference Center, Castellón.

1998 Finalist. International Competition Mies van der Rohe Foundation, 2G Magazine, Barcelona.

Awarded competitions. RLA (collaborator).

2000 First Prize. National Competition TV Production Center, Sogecable.

1999 Second Prize. National Competition Exhibition Center in Santander.

1999 First Prize. National Competition Office Building in Don Benito, Badajoz.

1998 First Prize. National Competition Housing – EMV, San Fermín, Madrid.

1998 First Prize. National Competition Boadilla del Monte Town Hall, Madrid.

 

Other awards

2017 Teaching Innovation PRIZE, Educational Institution SEK with the project “Re-naturalization of San Blas” in collaboration with the City Council of Madrid and together with the students of the Urban Design degree, School of Law, Governance & Urban development, Saxion University (Holland).

2003 ‘CONSTRUMAT’ PRIZE TO TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION, collaborator of the TV Production Center project for Sogecable with César Ruiz-Larrea.

2003 ‘ARQUITECTURA Y VIVIENDA’ QUALITY PRIZE, CAM, collaborator of the TV Production Center project for Sogecable with César Ruiz-Larrea.

Publications

Published Books

HD

2018 ARQUITECTURA Y CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO.

Díaz Camacho, Miguel Ángel. La Catarata and Arquia Foundation, Madrid, 2018. ISBN: 9788490975244 (with Clara Nubiola illustrations).

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2016 CORE(oh)GRAFÍAS.

Párrafos de Arquitectura. Díaz Camacho, Miguel Ángel. Asimétricas Publishers, Madrid 2016. ISBN: 978-84-944743-6-1.

Edition, design and direction of publications

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2018 Geourbanismos II. Cartografía de los Afectos.

Barrio Virgen de Begoña. Universidad Camilo José Cela. Madrid 2018.

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2018 Geourbanismos. Inventario de la ciudad Emergente.

Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid 2018.

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2017 Geourbanismos, Atlas de la ciudad Emergente.

Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid, 2017. ISBN: 978-84-95891-70-9.

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2017 De la Escala Urbana a la Escala Humana.

Colección Impulsando la transformación, Recolectores Urbanos, ISBN: 978-84-95891-66-2.

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2017 The common Public Space. Espacio público común.

Cityfollowers Collection, Universidad Camilo José Cela, ISBN: 978-84-95891-66-2.

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2016 Housing. El reconocimiento de lo urbano.

Cityfollowers Collection, Universidad Camilo José Cela, ISBN: 978-84-95891-65-5.

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2014 Collage Conceptual. Capítulo “Superciclos. La arquitectura como herramienta simpática”.

Recolectores Urbanos, Sevilla. ISBN: 978-84-941838-3-6.

Low Carbon Website

The Internet is not an autonomous being. Its growing energy use is the consequence of actual decisions made by software developers, web designers, marketing departments, publishers and internet users.

To start with, the Internet already uses three times more energy than all wind and solar power sources worldwide can provide. Furthermore, manufacturing, and regularly replacing, renewable power plants also requires energy, meaning that if data traffic keeps growing, so will the use of fossil fuels.

 

MADC’s new website has been designed and developed by HYPER STUDIO from a coherent premise of low environmental impact. To design and develop this website we have followed the recommendations of ‘How to build a Low-Tech Website‘ article published in Low-Tech Magazine, plus some other decisions based on research.

 

Here we explain you how we did it:

 

Green Hosting

A hosting company’s prime resource is electricity. If that resource came from a 100% clean source of energy it would not pollute or generate any CO2 emisions to the atmosphere, and our residual footprint in the world would be minimal. Therefor we chose a hosting company whose policy is focused on green energy at all levels.

 

Dithered Images

The main challenge was to reduce page size without making the website less attractive. Because images take up most of the bandwidth, it would be easy to obtain very small page sizes and lower energy use by eliminating images, reducing their number, or making them much smaller. However, visuals are an important part of MADC’s work, and the website would not be the same without them.

Instead, we chose to apply an obsolete image compression technique called “dithering”. By dithering, we can make images ten times less resource-intensive, even though they are displayed quite large. The number of colours in an image, combined with its file format and resolution, contributes to the size of an image. Thus, instead of using full-colour high-resolution images, we chose to convert all images to black and white.

Only by clicking the HD button the visitor will be able to access the full-color high-resolution version of each image. This way each visitor decides what images wants to download and see.

 

Default typeface

All resources loaded, including typefaces and logos, are an additional request to the server, requiring storage space and energy use. Therefore, our new website does not load a custom typeface and removes the font-family declaration, meaning that visitors will see the default typefaces of their browser, a sans-serif and a serif font.

 

No logo

We use a similar approach for the logo. Instead of a designed logotype, which would require the production and distribution of custom typefaces and imagery, MADC’s new identity consists of a single typographic effect: to use the strikethrough style in the blank spaces between letters to create a chain.

 

Black over white?

It has been widely denied that a screen with a black background consumes less energy than with a white background. However, this is starting to change with the new AMOLED displays where a black pixel means it is turned off, and therefor does not consume energy.

Furthermore, if you are in a dark environment, it is much more comfortable reading a white text over a black background, requiring less brightness from our devices, therefore reducing energy consumption; while if you are in a light environment, the opposite is much better.

Taking all these premises into account, we decided to create a website that responds to the time of the day when you visit it. If you visit the website during daytime, you will see it in white with black text, but if you visit it during nighttime, you will see it inverted. As this is only a mere approximation and not an exact indicator on whether you are in a light or a dark environment, we have placed a simple toggle in the upper-right corner of the screen so that every user can alternate between these two color modes.