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Caixa Forum - Madrid

Dispatch from Madrid | Published : 15/Jul/2008 23:30

Caixa Forum Madrid
Few makeover projects have been handled with such a degree of architectural audacity as the recent transformation of a disused electric station in Madrid’s Las Huertas district into the cultural center La Caixa Forum - Madrid.

Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron not only gutted the building, removing most of its interiors and changing its shape and size by conspicuously adding a layer of several floors - they also literally lifted it from its foundation, giving the whole structure a tense “suspended” look.

The resulting space now houses a cultural center with its own exhibition space, a large auditorium, a bookstore, and a top-floor café.


Inside, one of the most striking features is the central stair with its curvy concrete ballustrade. (Given that the elevator service is spotty, you’ll probably have to use it at some point during your visit). The café’s interior is also very interesting.

Caixa Forum Madrid: staircase

Caixa Forum Madrid: staircase; Photo by Paula Ortiz

Those familiar with this corner of Madrid may have a hard time remembering the building before the renovations. This is because it was previously obstructed by a gas station. Following the architects’ advice, the owners (Fundación La Caixa) decided to buy and demolish it, creating an adjacent plaza and opening the building onto the Paseo del Prado.

Caixa Forum - Madrid:
Paseo del Prado, 36
Madrid 28014
Phone: 91 330 73 00