Museums and exhibition spaces (92)

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Madrid. Spain

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Royal Collections Museum

Luís M. Mansilla y Emilio Tuñón / Mansilla + Tuñón arquitectos

FAD Awards finalist 2017  Architecture
Description Technical file

The Jury’s appraisal: The project elegantly resolves a multiple condition: to fit out a space devoted to displaying the ensemble of large-dimensioned works from the Royal Collections; to involve the present in a historical series of Royal Palace enlargements; and to build a plinth on an urban scale under the city of Madrid viewed from its southwestern access. The result is a monumental, restrained architecture that, with an absence of lyricism, offers an emphatic spatial dimension that is free of minutiae in a precise and exciting execution. This great architecture cannot be exclusively evaluated in relation to its present; rather, it belongs to a family of works charged with conserving the flow of history and with locking in an image of its time.
The Royal Collections Museum materializes the extension of the Royal Palace plinth towards the south, building a lineal space that follows the outline of the palace itself, delineated in the 18th century by Giovanni Battista Sacchetti. It contributes to the natural ending of Madrid’s historic western rim landscape on top of the old Hispano-Muslim wall and the origins of the city of Madrid.
The Museum is a new text written on what had already been written, a reflection on history and memory, on the coexistence of the old and the new that refers to the passage of time in the aged stones of the Royal Palace through the construction of a simple and compact building, a construction that is aware that the utmost flexibility is only possible within a rigorous order that takes the palace’s materials as its character, in a contemporary layout that is both heavy and light, opaque and transparent.
The Museum of the Royal Collections follows a linear museum model with a descending route, typical of modern urban museums. A museum typology that shares with ease a main route through all the collections with other alternative routes that facilitate the occasional view of one of the pieces or collections as standalone items.
The great heights required for displaying the collections, together with the large dimensions of the different areas, impose on the museum a strategy of structural composition that is close to that of the major contemporary infrastructures, giving the construction a pragmatic realism that avoids formal exaggerations wherever they are not needed.
This is why the load-bearing structure acquires considerable importance in the museum’s spatial organisation, which is configured by the serial repetition of a set of white concrete porticoes in which the stripes of the repetitive structure qualify the space in such a way that the structure, the lighting, the views and the space blur their boundaries and exchange their attributes because they seek to be one single thing, devised all at once.

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Localización Location: Palacio Real, Madrid. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Luís M. Mansilla y Emilio Tuñón / Mansilla + Tuñón arquitectos.. Colaboradores Collaborators: Carlos Brage, Rubén Arend, Matilde Peralta, Andrés Regueiro, Clara Moneo, Teresa Cruz, Bárbara Silva, Jaime Gimeno, Stefania Previati, David Nadal, Oscar F. Aguayo, Carlos Martinez de Albornoz, Asa Nakano, Coco Castillón, Javier González Galán, Mila Moskalenko, Inés García de Paredes. Arquitectos técnicos Quantity surveyors: Santiago Hernán y Luis Baena. Empresas consultoras Consultancy firms: J.G. Asociados, Alfonso Gómez Gaite. Asistencia técnica Technical assistance: INTEMAC (Roberto Barrios I.C.C. y P.). Cliente Client: Patrimonio Nacional. Constructora General Contractor: FCC Fomento Construcciones y Contratas, Dragados. Fecha de concurso Competition Date: 1999-2002. Redacción proyecto Project Draft: 2003. Fecha inicio de la obra Start date of the works: 2006. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2016. Superficie construida Built area: 50.000m2. Fotografía Photography: Luis Asín Lapique.
Emilio Tuñón
Luis M. Mansilla
Luís Asín