- Article by Natalie Mortimer
Spanish accessories brand Malababa is opening up a new space in Madrid’s Serrano 8, where the design embodies what the brand is known for: light, texture, colour and shapes.
The new store is a return to Malababa’s roots, drawing on raw beauty to deliver a design that is different, authentic and attractive. Founders of Malababa, Ana Carrasco and Jaime Lara, together with design and architecture studios Ciszak Dalmas and Matteo Ferrari, joined forces to create Malababa at Serrano 8 and the result is a space that has been built the same way their products are: with passion, consistency, honesty and sustainability.
Below, architect and designer Alberto Gobbino Ciszak from Ciszak Dalmas details the various design elements.
All walls are rendered with a mix of Galician clay, white marble powder from Almería and natural, ecological and non-toxic food thickeners. This kind of finish regulates air moisture and temperature and maintains the space free of bacteria and harmful microorganisms, as well as considerable helping save energy throughout the year.
Malababa at Serrano 8 is born as a space full of soul, with an identity that allows it to adapt to changes and endure through times. The store furniture pieces are mobile modules that can be combined and rebuilt as needed. They have been manufactured using limestone from Seville, aged brass and beautiful moss agate. Some of them are lined using the same leather that is used for manufacturing some of the Malababa collections.
The lattice structure and the mud
Behind the lattice structure, there is a great team effort. The tiles were placed one-by-one by all involved members and they have that welcoming warmth of traditional craftsmanship. These bricks have been artisanally manufactured in Toledo with mud from Extremadura quarries, baked in an H2G oven, 100 percent ecological, using biomass as fuel.
The ecocement coating some of the store interiors is sustainable and it is guaranteed by international certificates such as the German Emicode, which certifies low volatile compound –VOC- emissions in building materials.
And, this way, as if the brand’s designs would have become space, emerges a spectacular leather curatin, which covers one of the internal walls. This decorative item has been manufactured by Malababa master craftsman Osvaldo Ruben Thomas, with entire pieces of vegetally tanned cowhide leather, the same that is used in the Métrica accessories collection.
The agate crystals
It is not just leather that is present in every corner of the store: the agate crystals that make Minihontas and Nanohontas bags come alive are also one of the unifying threads. These stones take modular shapes and are harmoniously embedded into one of the wall units. As if they were back in the place where they came from, it feels like that is where they have always belonged.
Photography by Asier Rua