Miguel Crespo Picot, Javier Guzmán de Benito and Sixto Martín Martínez are the partners of Zooco Estudio, a young architectural firm with offices in Madrid and Santander. After winning the tender for the Cultural Civic Centre of Soto de la Marina, (Spain) in 2008, they founded Zooco Estudio.
Since then they have continued to add awards, most notably the EuroShop Retail Design Award 2018 – De Vinos y Viandas and Platinum Award: Interior Space and exhibition desing 2017/2018.
The studio combines large scale projects with the creation and renovation of spaces in the contract, retail and residential sectors, notable projects include the La Maruca, the Orgaz and the Atrapallada restaurants and hotels such as the Hotel Azul and the Flamingo.
1. What is your work philosophy?
The studio’s philosophy is based on approaching each project, from designing interior spaces to large scale structures, through the same creative process. When undertaking projects of different scales, you discover that architectural decisions are always the same: to create spaces which meet specific needs and environments based on a clear overallconception that serves as the starting point of the project.
This vision of architecture, and the flexibility to adapt to different projects, has given us an understanding of our profession in challenging economic times.
2. What materials de you most identify with?
At Zooco Estudio we aim to use high-quality materials and simple forms to produce a functional and atemporal aesthetic. The results we’re looking for are neutral spaces, projects which will stand the test of time. With this goal, we combine research into new systems and materials with knowledge of traditional processes.
3. What is more difficult: to renew an existing space or create an entirely new one?
We approach our projects in terms of “solution or response”, addressing a series of “problems or conditions” that we identify before beginning the design process. The difficulty is similar, the only difference is the nature of these conditions.
4. The most challenging project, the most beautiful project and the one with the fondest memories…
Most challenging: the Arts Centre in Verín, due to the scale and complexity of the construction.
Most beautiful: it is difficult to choose a single project although, clearly, some projects are more satisfying than others. But we believe we have managed to meet the initial premises of every one of our projects and each is unique and special in their own way.
Fondest memories: maybe the CCC of Soto de la Marina, although it’s a shame the project was never executed. It was the first tender we ever won; our first opportunity to undertake a project of considerable size; that was the project that consolidated the studio.
5. How do you see the relation between architecture and interior design?
We don’t distinguish between one discipline and another. For us it is always about designing spaces. We understand that it is simply a factor of scale, and evidently each project will have one or another principal element.
6. Zooco Estudio has incorporated Hisbalit to many of its projects. What does Hisbalit as a brand and a product, bring to yours projects?
We believe that mosaic tiles are a versatile, strong and durable material. We like the versatility the material offers for use in different spaces and with very different purposes; the design possibilities are endless given the range of colours, formats and finishes.