The Botín Foundation was established in 1964 to encourage social development and promotion in Spain’s Cantabria region. It recently opened its new offices in Madrid, housed in a 1920s building originally used as a silver workshop. The revamping work planned by MVN Arquitectos kept the face brick walls and added a new oak, steel and glass structure. The use of skylights ensured optimal natural lighting inside the building without having to alter the wall structure. The two-storey entrance atrium stands out, with the open-space ground floor having a flexible, modular structure to allow it to be used for an array of public functions.The atrium resembles a large well of light that hosts a melody of plants amid cladding of American red oak planks. The colour of this hardwood brings warmth and personality, while also creating an interplay with the original brick walls, drawing out the textures and shades. This wood was chosen because it fitted perfectly with the design’s need to combine warm tones with medium bending strength and stiffness, and high crushing strength. On the first floor, used for management offices and meeting rooms, the doors and walls are clad with European oak, which was also used for the floor. Finally, all the wood was treated with a transparent oil to foreground the grain, without altering the natural hues.