Initially engaged to formulate the brand manual and visual strategy for Resa – one of Spain’s premier student housing providers – Valencia-based creative consultancy Masquespacio was later invited to design the university residence Resa San Mamés in Bilbao, a northern port town of Spain. “During the development phase of the brand manual, next to the definition of the visual strategy, we sought to establish the essence of [future] residences,” says Christophe Penasse, co-founder of Masquespacio. “During this investigation it was clear that it was important to augment the possibilities for the students to share experiences as a community in this new space.”
As such, a “diaphanous layout” was devised to accommodate the mix of study, social and relaxation spaces, creating connection between the different areas and facilitating the desired sense of community. The versatile floor plan is also conducive to impromptu change. “Some zones like the study rooms include flexible glass walls that can be closed to maintain the room in silence or organise events unrelated to the other spaces in any given moment,” says the designer.
The project began with a clear direction from the client to search for creative solutions that would fit within a limited budget. For this reason, Masquespacio became involved at the early construction phase, selecting humble materials, such as brick and concrete, in an effort to avoid the installation of unnecessary additional finishes.
Further, the decision was made to express all of the pipes and overhead services as visible gestures. This approach contributes to the project’s contemporary yet industrial appearance, altogether finessed with the design studio’s deft use of high-octane colour. “Using the technique of colour blocking we obtained a strong visual impact for the space,” says Ana Hernández, creative director at Masquespacio. “At the same time we created a clear distinction between each zone.” The result is vivid and joyful, establishing Resa San Mamés as a welcoming home away from home for its studious residents.
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Using the technique of colour blocking we obtained a strong visual impact for the space.