Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Palacio de Cibeles
Since 2010, the seat of the Madrid City Council
On August 20, 1904, a Royal Decree announced a national call for bids for the creation of a new centre that would encompass mail and telecommunications, as well as the general management of the branch; the winning project was the one presented by the then young architects Antonio Palacios and José María Otamendi. Their proposal adapted perfectly to the site’s irregularity and large size, characterised by originality, a grandiose appearance and a desire for transcendence, and taking on board the historicism, the spatial achievements brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the symbolism of contemporary European architecture. Within the complex, worthy of note is the main body, which opens onto the Plaza de la Cibeles and whose unifying structure is an axial core beginning at the fountain itself and comprising the magnificent cruciform lobby.
Over time, this great Post, Telegraph and Communications Building has hardly undergone any important transformations beyond the necessary repair and adaptation works and the restoration of the impact of the Civil War on its factory. The most prominent alterations were the two-story extension towards the street and the passage of Montalbán, undertaken from 1934 by Otamendi himself; the renovations carried out between 1980 and 1992 by Antonio de Sola and Navarro-Reverter as chief architect of the Spanish Postal and Telegraph Services; and the restoration of façades and towers whose plans were drawn up in 1996 by the architect María Belén Isla.
The recent transformation of the building is a consequence of the decision of the then Mayor of Madrid, José María Ruiz Gallardón, to move the headquarters of the Madrid City Council to the Post, Telegraph and Communications Building. In December 2005, its renovation and transformation was entrusted to the Arquimática, S.L. studio, which was tasked with capturing the winning project of the bid called for that purpose, drawn up by the team led by the architect Francisco Rodriguez Partearroyo, and with the outstanding collaboration of his peer architects David Márquez Latorre and Ángel and Francisco Martínez Díaz.
© Miguel Sánchez-Moñita