Gonzalo del Val
Shared autonomy
Madrid, ES

Estudio Gonzalo del Val is based in Madrid and since 2012, is dedicated to the exploration of architecture and its periphery, where it mediates between technique and creativity to shape collective and individual desires. From initially working from a home-office, the studio has grown into a practice that is constantly aiming to collaborate and grow in project scale.


Hazy beginnings

The first steps are quite ambiguous, like a gradient. The office did not arise from a circumstantial decision or a deliberate association, let's say that it was gradually shaped, adapting to the changes. The small projects, commissions and competitions carried out are giving inertia to the way of working, which has always been characterised by temporary partnerships with different partners. These links over time have led to different stages of work, a variety in production that has motivated me but has also made it difficult to define the studio.


Receiving ‘referrals’ from friends

After several years of work, in which you can assess where the main jobs come from, I can conclude that most of the commissions come, surprisingly, from other professionals and  colleagues. In medicine it is called referral, that is, when a doctor refers a patient to another professional, to give him a complimentary attention. I have been fortunate to receive commissions brought about by other colleagues or others wherein a collaboration arises to group forces and be able to carry out a larger project.


Establishing a routine by moving to a shared space

During the first stage of my work, my home and office were sharing a single space. The reconciliation was indeed difficult seeing as the house just became an office 24/7. It became difficult to not fall into a kind of self-exploitation and an over-productive life. At a certain moment, the opportunity to set up an office in a beautiful shared space arose. Thanks to this, a routine, limits and controlled productivity also came along. Now I really believe that there is no heroicness in excessive work and I now greatly value, on the other hand, the dedication of time to being unproductive.


Collaborations that arise from a shared space

We are currently installed in a shared work space, where we not only share space with professionals from other creative fields (an illustrator, an art editor, an interior photographer, etc) but also with other architects, such as Estudio Animal or Toni Gelabert, with whom different collaborations and projects have emerged. Right now we are in a moment of transformation and growth that we still cannot define, but we will get to it.


Teaching in order to sustain the office

A small studio is not very easy to maintain. At times, small projects and collaborations are not sufficient to sustain an architecture office. That is why I maintain a balance between practice and academia. For the last 8 years, a great portion of my time is dedicated to teaching in the university where I impart a workshop of projects. This double-work allow taking certain risks in the office and to dedicate time and care to those projects that I am immersed in.


Growing as an architecture practice

Without a doubt, a short-term objective is to address larger-scale projects, and in all their phases, from conception to construction. Outside of Spain it may seem obvious that this is the objective of any studio, but the local economic and administrative circumstances to build a new building are, right now, extremely difficult for small studios. That is why we try to remain resilient and not abandon that simple but ambitious idea to build.

Gonzalo del Val retrato de David Diez DDZ studio info gonzalodelval.com

Photography David Diez (DDZ studio)

estudio gonzalo del val info gonzalodelval.com

estudio gonzalo del val 2 info gonzalodelval.com

Constructive Memory Diego Delas + Gonzalo del Val info gonzalodelval.com

Photography Courtesy of Estudio Gonzalo del Val

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