Innovación en Arquitectura y Diseño de Interiores
Interviews, Publications – Jun 17, 2024

Episodio I: El Departamento

Design, Services, Technology

Here is the first interview of our podcast, conducted with the studio El Departamento. Founded in 2017, El Departamento is an architecture and interior design studio based in Valencia, Spain. This innovative studio was created by Alberto Eltini, an architect with experience in renowned firms such as Norman Foster and HWKN, and Marina Martín, a creative director with a notable career in fashion working with Manolo Blahnik. Their diverse professional and life experiences in cities like London, New York, Madrid, and Barcelona have enabled them to develop a unique and contemporary approach to their projects.

El Departamento stands out for its ability to merge traditional architecture with a freer, more experimental approach, exploring new aesthetics and creative solutions. Their philosophy is based on critical thinking and aesthetic subversion, always seeking to forge new paths in the current establishment. The founders firmly believe in the power of experimentation and innovation, and every project they undertake is an opportunity to challenge established norms and create something truly unique.

Since its inception, El Departamento has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from private residences to public spaces, offices, restaurants, and especially retail spaces. Among their best-known projects are the stores for the brand Pompeii in various cities across Spain, the Momiji restaurant by chef Diego Lasso, the flagship stores for Project Lobster in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia, and the stores for Nude Project in cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, and Lisbon.

A notable example of their work is the Pompeii store in Madrid. In this project, the design was adapted to the morphology of the premises, transforming its weaknesses into strengths through a topographic shelving that runs around the perimeter of the store. This solution not only optimizes the available space but also reflects the brand’s personality through carefully selected objects and books. Additionally, the use of textiles and reflections helps create an immersive experience for customers, highlighting the studio’s originality and detailed approach in each of their projects.

Besides their professional work, both Alberto and Marina combine their activities at El Departamento with teaching. Alberto has been part of the faculty in the International Degree in Architecture at UCH-CEU and is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture in Valencia. Marina, on the other hand, teaches in the Master’s in Fashion Communication at the same university, and both have taught in the Master’s in Interior Design.

El Departamento aims to continue challenging the boundaries of architecture and interior design, exploring new ways to integrate functionality with creativity. Their goal is to create spaces that not only meet the expectations of their clients but also enrich the users’ experience and contribute to the urban and social development of the areas in which they operate. With an approach that combines rigor and experimentation, El Departamento continues to establish itself as a benchmark in contemporary design, bringing Spanish architecture to the world.

For more information about their projects and philosophy, you can visit their website.
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