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19 October 2022

HANGHAR & estudio DIIR will design the Guest Lounge of ARCOmadrid 2023

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HANGHAR & estudio DIIR will take on the task of designing the Guest Lounge of ARCOmadrid 2023, to be held from February 22nd to 26th at IFEMA MADRID.

Download project images.

Following the competition organised by ARCO, the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE) and AD magazine, the jury selected the VERBENA project, a joint proposal of these two Madrid-based firms.

The Mediterranean: A Round Sea, the fair’s core theme, is the point of departure and the inspiration for the project which both encapsulates the fair’s philosophy and theme and serves the function of providing a space for resting, meeting and eating at ARCOmadrid. Additionally, it also reflects the values of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE) through the associated Spanish companies, clear paragons of quality, innovation, sustainability and modernity, which will supply products needed to equip this space.

The management of HANGHAR & estudio DIIR have said “we see this project as the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to celebration. To do so, we turn to the Mediterranean and our origins with the aim of bringing popular culture to the space. Thus, the lounge moves away from isolation and towards interaction. We explore new ways of forging relations in which folklore and contemporaneity mingle and, as if it were a VERBENA, an evening festival, we draw on settings that foster community living.”


“VERBENA is a proposal that hinges on opening up and, above all, the interaction of its visitors.

The Mediterranean, the fair’s main axis, is decisive in the project’s essence. Over the centuries, its cultural predominance has rendered it a constant focus. The marriage of cultures, through wars or alliances, has transformed world history and distinguished it as the most distinctive point of convergence. Which is why it’s so important to build on these premises and feed off this breeding ground to create meeting points. VERBENA revolves around sites of interaction which, on the one hand, imagine new relationships and on the other, relies on the collective imagination this region holds deep within. A space in which folklore and modernity meet. A form of facing a future that while uncertain, must be collaborative, charitable and festive, just like the most intrinsic essence of the Mediterranean people.

Staging is conceived through a big red marquee. An element associated with popular festivity, the ephemeral. Its presence goes beyond the fair’s limits, generating an aura of mystery that entices the user to explore its interior. Inside, a fairground atmosphere is recreated where the users gather and enjoy the moment as if it were a true verbena, a true festival. A space that finally shakes off restrictions and is replete with a series of elements that counter the recent isolation that has plagued our society. The bench, the bar, the table, the porch… all taken from our popular tradition with a few to imagining scenes in which the passage of time cannot but be seen as a celebration and community living.

Contrary to the conflict and disconcertment that dominate our time, VERBENA perceives this challenge as an opportunity to consolidate a network of alliances. While the great oceans represent hostility, the calm waters of the Mediterranean reflect friendliness. This invitation to pause and reflect is the objective of this space. The wish to build a consistent and respectful future requires dialogue between its participants, and it is in this temporary experience that the celebration of life takes on meaning”.


Nora Arratibel (Commercial Director Ondarreta); Daniel Guerra (Architect Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos. ARCOmadrid VIP Lounge 2022 project); Silvia Ortiz (Galería Travesía Cuatro and member of the Organising Committee); Maite Sebastiá (director AD magazine); Pedro Vargas (director Leading Brands of Spain Forum projects); Maribel López (director of ARCOmadrid), and Sofía Alonso (Fair Design Department, IFEMA MADRID).