Living Lab Mondragon, Spain


Located in northern Spain, the Acede Living Lab will be a creative working environment and think-tank that is inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking, facilitating the innovative research and development of new home environments while also promoting collaboration, the health and well-being of its occupants, and local biodiversity. The project design includes a new building addition and the partial renovation and fit-out of two existing buildings located at the symbolic entry into the town of Mondragon. Wood clad surfaces and volumes penetrate and seamlessly envelop the existing metal and glass buildings, creating a new identity for the Living Lab while maintaining the integrity of the original structures.

A new ground floor lobby connects a redesigned landscape plaza between the two buildings to offices and exhibition space above through a vertical sequence of diverse collaborative spaces. Signaling the aspirations of Acede along the streetscape while also shading the interior, a vertical hydroponic greenhouse is incorporated into the south façade adjacent to the central communal kitchen and extends to the roof gardens and greenhouse above. This “cocina” provides collaboration space while also allowing spatial flexibility over time, contributing to the active life of the building while showcasing and demonstrating the important work of the lab. Inspired by local Basque agricultural traditions and flows, the design incorporates food production through rooftop farming and promotes the Living Lab as a life support system for its occupants and the surrounding community.


Office, Collaborative Workshops and Laboratories, Greenhouse and Rooftop Farming


3000 square meters


Under Construction (Estimated Completion: Spring 2011)


William McDonough + Partners, Design Architects;
LKS, Architect of Record