Nov. 8, 2021


Ramón Mayo

Spain

Ramón Mayo

President, KALAM

“Our main goal and where we are absolutely different is in comprehensive rehabilitation projects.”

BIO

Ramón Mayo is the founder and president of KALAM, a company specialized in the restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings with a history of nearly 35 years serving the preservation of cultural heritage. His personality and training reliably determine the company he founded in 1987, with the aim of offering comprehensive restoration services for buildings that respect historical trades (traditional masonry, artistic plumbing in lead and zinc, wood, reproduction of architectural elements, stucco, sgraffito, mural painting, etc.) From a complementary experience as a technician in the largest Spanish construction company in the 70s or directing a well-known services company to the sector, he completed his training in business administration and decided to dedicate himself exclusively to the protection, conservation, and rehabilitation of buildings.


KALAM, founded almost 35 years ago, has become a reference in the rehabilitation and restoration of emblematic buildings. What have been its milestones over these years?

Without a doubt, what has differentiated us from the rest of the sector is our staff, which makes up the company since I incorporated it in 1987. Our staff, in general terms, comprises workers in the construction sector who are specialized in the rehabilitation of monuments and historic buildings. In the 1970s, the business operated through a model of contractors. I felt the model had to change and that a holistic proposal was required; therefore, we incorporated staff specialists in different areas of the entire rehabilitation process to present a comprehensive proposal. This model was difficult to maintain because it was challenging to keep the staff when a recession hit; however, it has been successful partly because we have never paid dividends. We kept our profits as reserves instead of distributing them. That characteristic of having our own staff has allowed us to ensure top-quality service. It makes us stand out.

KALAM has a wide portfolio in terms of divisions. What services do you offer?

Our main goal and where we are absolutely different is in comprehensive rehabilitation projects. With the restoration division, we complete a comprehensive offering, working on exteriors and interiors with artistic value. Complementary to our main services, we offer the project support department that coordinates the most experienced professionals of the company to support our clients in the analysis of the state of the buildings that they are considering acquiring, collaborate with their technicians, and carry out tests or urgent renovation works. Complex building renovation projects are all managed under the parameters of quality, effectiveness, and experience guaranteed by an accredited team with an established track record.

Over these 35 years, KALAM has worked in emblematic projects in Spain and abroad. What are some of your most iconic projects?

We have been fortunate to work extensively, an effort recognized twice in the European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Awards. We have worked on large comprehensive rehabilitation works such as the Major Seminary of Comillas with the restoration of all historic, artistic, and artisanal assets or the complete renovation of buildings such as residential buildings updated according to the highest contemporary standards while preserving their uniqueness and character. We have restored marvelous buildings such as La Equitativa in Madrid, an old Banesto building, and recently again together with more than 7,000sqm of façade of the current Canalejas complex, the home of the first Four Seasons Hotel in Spain. We also rehabilitated many other landmarks in Madrid, such as the Metropolis building or the Central Headquarters of the Bank of Spain, for whom we have intervened in several of its headquarters, currently in Seville, inspiring the continued confidence of our clients. In Toledo, we have worked extensively on its historic center and are currently executing the structural consolidation of seven buildings that will be a hotel. We also work for our clients in different locations, such as in Barcelona for General Electric, the flagship store of Paseo de Gracia of one of the main fashion brands worldwide, or Telefónica at its headquarters in Bilbao, among other locations. In Chile, we have a consolidated presence, having participated in the most emblematic projects for the recovery of historic buildings over the years, such as Pereira Palace, extremely iconic and institutional headquarters in the center of Santiago. In France, we have worked on the Palace of Versailles, among other iconic monuments and buildings. We recently renovated the Automóvel Club de Portugal headquarters in Lisbon and also have projects underway in New York.

KALAM has a strong international presence. What are your expansion plans?

Chile is the center of operations for the Pacific axis, from where we work on the region, Peru, and Mexico with incorporated companies, as well as Colombia. We are called up for turnkey projects, as in Angola for the Das Pescas Ministry in an important comprehensive rehabilitation work of a large training center. In Europe, we work from our territorial network of Spain, Portugal, and France. We want to consolidate our presence in the US and globally for international clients looking for differential and successful proposals. Our logistics department is prepared to give the best response in different services under these quality premises.

What are your main goals for 2021?

We will focus on continuing to be the benchmark company in the sector in Spain and countries such as Chile and others in which we intervene. We will direct our main focus of attention to the US, a market that demands high added value services, and France, whose heritage we know extremely well, which our curriculum supports, and which we admire. Our client portfolio is interested in the best value for money, and we want to focus on them, committing ourselves to giving a competitive response that best meets their needs. We hope to continue being their allies in the projects they want to undertake.

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