Expanish Mad rid was born to bring the city’s culture closer to foreign students and offer them the opportunity to learn the language in an immersive way. Expanish already had cam puses in Buenos Aires and Barcelona, and they aimed to convey the essence of Mad rid in this new location situated in the Barrio Salamanca.

Studio Name: Mikamoka Studio
Design Team: Gloria Matías Moreno
Area: Interior Design
Year: 2022
Location: Madrid
Photography Credits: Gloria Byler

Expanish academy by Mikamoka Studio - Sheet2
©Gloria Byler

Building upon this prem ise, our goal at Mikamoka was to capture the ambiance of the literary cafés that permeated the city in the early 20th century, serving as the crad Ie of culture and a meeting point for society in the most authentic Mad rid. We wanted to transport students to one of these cafés, allowing them to experience the atmosphere of such a representative space in the city. To achieve this, we crafted an experience starting from the facade, incorporating the typical entrances of traditional bars with burgundy-colored moldings and a large hand-pa inted sign.

The space is spread across two floors, with the reception a rea, café, and lounge situated on the ground floor. The classrooms are located on the first floor, a rranged along a central corridor.

Expanish academy by Mikamoka Studio - Sheet5
©Gloria Byler

For the interior design, we played with a combination of classical elements such as checkered flooring and golden ball lamps that can be found throughout the space, coexisting with contemporary design elements like custom-made shelves in vibrant and contrasting colors, and neon lights featuring the brand slogan “Hola Mad rid,” which dominates the public area and the socializing zone of the academy. In this area, we aimed to create a theatrical atmosphere with custom-designed wall sconces by Mikamoka and a large blue arch from Orac Decor.

Curtains play a prominent role in the design and can be found throughout the space. I n the common area, they cover the walls, enhancing the concept and adding warmth, texture, and color to the space. The curtains are also present in the different classrooms, recreating the am biance of the private rooms in these cafés. The central corridor on the first floor, where the classrooms are organized, follows the same concept as the rest of the premises, with decorated lamps along the ceiling and hand-painted Art Nouveau signage.

Expanish academy by Mikamoka Studio - Sheet9
©Gloria Byler

I n this area, there is a curtain that sets itself apart from the others, featuring patterns inspired by traditional Mad rid regional costumes, such as houndstooth, adorned with polka dot fans representing the “chulapa” attire, paying homage to Mad rid’s tradition.


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