Castellana 50

Why were relationships more important than ever in the renovation of this iconic building?

When work to refurbish Madrid’s famous Castelar building stalled, Gleeds was called in to get things back on track.

Our relationship with the client meant they knew they could trust us to make up for lost time and finish on budget.

Link to the past

The renovation of this iconic building – that appears to float when viewed from the front, thanks to a supporting vertical core at the rear – was carried out by the son of the original architect, Rafael de la Hoz, who shares the same name.  

Particular care had to be given to the original design and materials. We made numerous visits to Italy to assist in sourcing marbles from the same quarry that supplied the original finishes.

Similar project

When delays and cost overruns began to occur, Mutua Madrileña asked Gleeds to step in. We were already working with them on another project of similar size and complexity. Our performance on that development gave our client the confidence to trust us to pick up the challenge of getting this renovation back on budget and on schedule.

Building bridges

We began with an audit to assess the status of the works, any on-going risks, and to agree a strategy on how to complete the project. Having done that, we allocated a team to work permanently on site.

They focused initially on establishing relations with the design team, works supervision and contractors. Challenges included:

  • New interior finishes
  • Improving security features and energy efficiency
  • Programming material deliveries to avoid disrupting city centre traffic

By setting ambitious but achievable targets, we were soon able to get the project back on track and complete the works within budget.

All this, despite a last minute change. The building was planned for multi-tenant occupation, but towards the end of the works a single tenant wanted to take the whole building. So we managed a number of variations, not least of which was modification of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) installations.

On completion of the works, we were heavily involved in managing the testing and commissioning, to ensure the specifications met the single occupier’s requirements.

Since then, we have been appointed on three new refurbishment projects for the client.

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Ernesto Fernandez

Ernesto Fernandez
Director, Spain