From a noucentista power station to a Museum of Contemporary Art
Erected as an industrial building to house the Mediodía power station, its structure stems from this function: the use of exposed brickwork, the functional composition of openings and contention in the ornamentation of the rigging, typical of Madrid’s neo-Mudéjar architecture of the late 19th century. It was promoted by José Batllé and built by the architect Jesús Carrasco-Muñoz.
Following its ownership by the ONCE, it was purchased by the La Caixa Foundation for the purpose of installing there its cultural headquarters, CaixaForum, entrusting the remodeling and alteration project to the prestigious Swiss architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2001. The removal of the granite base of the original construction makes the building levitate over a new public square resulting from the demolition of a service station towards the Paseo del Prado, whose party wall is covered with vegetation following the creation of a vertical garden measuring twenty-four meters high and comprising two hundred and fifty different species.
© Vicente Tofiño