It was 1992 when a group of 43 decorators first decided to showcase their ideas by transforming an old convent in Calle General Oráa, in Madrid. The action seemed somewhat shocking at first, but quickly won over the public and professionals alike. Interior designers, architects, artists, and landscape designers became firm supporters of this traveling event, which took over a different building every year with new proposals… up until 2017. To celebrate its twenty-five year history, Casa Decor moved into the Jerónimos neighborhood in Madrid, on Calle Antonio Maura 8, just a few steps away from the Retiro park. The four-story building cannot deny its bourgeois, turn-of-the-century spirit: red brick on the façade alternating with tall glass doors opening onto balconies, and warm yellow pine wood floors in the interior, with the occasional counterpoint of a graceful cast iron column. Up to 67 spaces in this stage set/building offer a testing ground for participants: this is where they unveil their personal vision of current interior design. A must-see, without a doubt! The tight deadline is key at Casa Decor: rather than a design project, the development and implementation of each interior is reminiscent of a film shoot.
The pace of a film shoot at bulthaup O’Donnell
Because the spaces are only assigned a month and a half before the opening, there’s not a minute to be lost. That is what Alberto Porras and Ignacio Carrasco from bulthaup O’Donnell knew when they were notified about the space they would be working with: two adjacent rooms, one with a balcony facing the street and the other set back in an interior area, scarcely separated by two cast iron columns.
An oasis of peace
The result of all these efforts is a space of serene harmony, conveying a contained yet warm, lively atmosphere–an oasis of peace inside a building which, during the forty days it remains open, can overwhelm visitors given the striking variety and intensity of stimuli it has to offer. In this bulthaup space, the subdued greys of the b3 units and the micro cement floor in the inside kitchen area highlight the solid wood in the parquet, the island counter and, needless to say, the new bulthaup solitaires: the table, bench, and preparation unit. On the walls, in a clear nod to the building’s original character, the designers have alternated b3 panels with classical moldings, confirming the outstanding versatility of environments that bulthaup is capable of creating.
Ushering in the solitaires
Against this serene, elegant backdrop of grey and wood surfaces, as we move closer to the natural light from the balcony facing Calle Antonio Maura, we discover the protagonists of the bulthaup project at Casa Décor event: the new solitaires. Presented here for the first time in Spain, they reveal extraordinarily skilled workmanship. In the table –the central piece in this new product line– the 5 cm-thick solid oak tabletop is set between two metal pieces that continue the style of the leg frame, made of matte black anodized aluminum. And realizing that a table with such powerful character needed to keep the right company, bulthaup followed the same criteria to design the solitaire bench, made of exceptional-quality oak and covered with tanned, waxed cowhide cushions that only gain character over the course of time. The preparation unit, designed with identical materials, is a highly versatile movable element: here we see it standing guard next to the balcony, delighted with its role as a bar cabinet.
It was worth all the effort. After six relentless weeks of shooting and editing, the bulthaup community can attend the premiere of a staging that engages viewers with its pure lines, typical of the bulthaup brand –which, in alliance with building’s classic spirit, fills the space with life and serenity.