"The CaixaForum is conceived as an urban magnet attracting not only art-lovers but all people of Madrid and from outside. The attraction will not only be CaixaForum's cultural program, but also the building itself, insofar that its heavy mass, is detached from the ground in apparent defiance of the laws of gravity and, in a real sense, draws the visitors inside.

The CaixaForum-Madrid stands on an advantageous site facing the Paseo del Prado and the Botanical Garden vis à vis. This new address for the arts is located in an area occupied until now by unspectacular urban structures, the Central Eléctrica Power Station, and a gas station. The classified brick walls of the former power station are reminiscences of the early industrial age in Madrid, while the gas station, a purely functional structure, was clearly out of place. Like a vineyard that could never develop its full potential because it was planted with the wrong grape, this prominent location could not develop its full potential. The demolition of the gas station created a small plaza between the Paseo del Prado and the new CaixaForum in the converted power station.

The only material of the old power station that we could use was the classified brick shell. In order to conceive and insert the new architectural components of the CaixaForum, we began with a surgical operation, separating and removing the base and the parts of the building no longer needed. This opened a completely novel and spectacular perspective that simultaneously solved a number of problems posed by the site. The removal of the base of the building left a covered plaza under the brick shell, which now appears to float above the street level. This sheltered space under the CaixaForum offers shade to visitors who want to spend time or meet outside, and at the same time, it is the entrance to the Forum itself. Problems such as the narrowness of the surrounding streets, the placement of the main entrance, and the architectural identity of this contemporary art institution are addressed and solved in a single urban and sculptural gesture." (c) Herzog & De Meuron + via www.herzogdemeuron.com


The architecture team:

Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Harry Gugger
Project Architects: Peter Ferretto, (Associate), Carlos Gerhard (Associate), Stefan Marbach (Associate), Benito Blanco
Project Team: Heitor Garcia Lantaron, Estelle Grosberg, Pedro Guedes, Michel Kehl, Miguel Marcelino, Gabi Mazza, Beatrice Noves Salto, Margarita Salmeron, Stefano Tagliacarne

Project 2011-2003 Realization 2003 - 2008

The Building Program:
- 2 main galleries with a total of 1’720 sqm exhibition space
- 333 seat auditorium
- Lobby, Cafeteria, Shop
- Restaurant
- Offices
- Multi-functional rooms for presentations and other activities
- Workshop for conservation and restoration
- Storage space for art work
- Covered entrance plaza with a total of 1’200 sqm (open to all four sides)
- Connecting plaza to Paseo del Prado
- Green Wall installation with a total of 600 sqm of plants

Site Area:

building site: 1,934sqm / 20,817sqft; plaza: 650sqm / 6,996sqftBuilding Footprint: 1,400sqm /15,069sqft
Building Dimensions: Length 44m / 144ft; Width 37m / 121ft; Height 28m / 92ft
Gross Floor Area: 11,000sqm/ 118,404sqft

model-caixaforum-madrid-herzog-de-meuron-arcstreet-mag-.jpgmodel-caixaforum-madrid-herzog-de-meuron-arcstreet-mag-deta.jpgCaixaforum madrid render by herzog de meuron architects

Initial 3D render of the project (c) Herzog & De Meuron

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