# MADRID CITY
Architecture of Madrid
Very little medieval architecture is preserved in Madrid. We know from historical documents that the city was walled and had a castle (the Alcázar) in the same place where now stands the Royal Palace. Among the few preserved medieval buildings are the mudejar towers of San Nicolás and San Pedro el Viejo churches, the palace of Luján family (located in the Plaza de la Villa), the Gothic church of St. Jerome, part of a monastery built by the Catholic Monarchs in the fifteenth century, and the Bishop's Chapel.
Nor has Madrid retained many examples of Renaissance architecture, except for the Cisneros house (one of the buildings flanking the Plaza de la Villa), the Bridge of Segovia and the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales, whose austere exterior gives no idea of the magnificent art treasures inside.
When Philip II moved his court to Madrid in 1561, a series of reforms began, reforms that aimed to transform the town into a capital city worthy of the name. These reforms were embodied in the Plaza Mayor, designed by Juan de Herrera (author of El Escorial) and Juan Gomez de Mora, characterized by its symmetry and austerity, as well as the new Alcazar, who would become the second most impressive royal palace of the kingdom.
Madrid Architecture under the Hapsburgs (16th-17th century)
Many of the historic buildings of Madrid were built during the reign of the Hapsburgs. The material used was mostly brick and the humble facades contrast with the elaborate interiors. Juan Gómez de Mora built notable buildings such as Casa de la Villa, Prison of the Court and Royal Convent of La Encarnación. The Buen Retiro Palace was a vanished work by Alonso Carbonel, today on the grounds of the Retiro Park, with beautiful rooms decorated by the best artists in times of Philip IV (Velázquez, Carducci, Zurbarán). Imperial College become an important institution run by the Jesuits, and the model dome of the church would be imitated in all Spain, thanks to the cheap materials used in its construction.
Before the arrival of the Bourbons at Madrid, the architect Pedro de Ribera was one of the most important architects in Madrid. Ribera introduced Churrigueresque architecture to Madrid, characterized by ornamental overload on their covers, as an altarpiece. The History Museum, the Cuartel del Conde-Duque, the church of Montserrat and the Bridge of Toledo are the best examples.
Madrid Architecture under the Bourbons (18th-19th century)
The arrival of the Bourbons marked a new era in the city. The burning of the Alcazar of Madrid served as an excuse for Philip V of Spain to build a palace on its foundations, a palace more in line with the French taste. Filippo Juvarra, an architect specializing in the construction of royal palaces, was chosen to design the new palace. His design was inspired by a design rejected for the Louvre in Paris. Juvarra died before the work began, and the project was substantially modified by his disciple Giovainni Battista Sacchetti. Other buildings of the time were the St. Michael's Basilica and the Convent of Santa Barbara.
King Charles III of Spain was more interested in beautifying the city. He was an enlightened monarch and endeavored to convert Madrid into one of the great European capitals. To him we owe the construction of the Prado Museum (designed by Juan de Villanueva). The building was originally intended to serve as a Natural Science Museum. Charles III was also responsible for design of the Puerta de Alcalá, the Royal Observatory, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, the Casa de Correos in Puerta del Sol and the General Hospital (now houses the Reina Sofia Museum and Royal Conservatory of Music). The Paseo del Prado, surrounded by gardens and decorated with neoclassical statues inspired by mythological gods, is an example of urban planning. The Duke of Berwick ordered Ventura Rodríguez the construction of the Liria Palace.
Subsequently, the Peninsular War, the loss of colonies in the Americas, and the continuing coups prevented the city from developing interesting architecture (Royal Theatre and the Palace of the Senate, the Congress). In the slums of Madrid during this time, a kind of substandard house was developed that today has a special historical charm: an example is the corralas, which currently still exist in the neighborhood of Lavapies.
Madrid Architecture: 20th Century and Beyond
From the late nineteenth century until the Civil War, Madrid modernized and built new neighborhoods and monuments, both in the capital and in neighboring towns. In the mid nineteenth century the expansion of Madrid developed under the plan Castro, resulting in the neighborhoods of Salamanca, Argüelles and Chamberí. Arturo Soria conceived the linear city and built the first few kilometers of the road that bears his name, which embodies the idea. Antonio Palacios build a series of eclectic buildings inspired by the Viennese Secession. Some representative examples are the Palacio de Comunicaciones, the Circulo de Bellas Artes and the Río de La Plata Bank (Instituto Cervantes). Ricardo Velázquez Bosco designed the Crystal Palace and the Palacio de Velázquez in the Retiro Park. Secundino Zuazo built the Palacio de la Música and the Casa de las Flores. The Bank of Spain was designed by Eduardo Adaro and Severiano Sainz de la Lastra. Meanwhile, the Marquis of Cubas began the Almudena Cathedral project, which was to be a neo-Gothic church with neo-Romanesque cloister. Alberto de Palacio designed Atocha Station. Las Ventas Bullring was built in the early twentieth century.
Also the construction of Gran Vía began in the early 20th century , with the task of freeing the old town. They used different styles that evolved over time: The Metropolis building is built in French style, while Telefónica Building is art deco, with baroque ornaments. The Carrión (or Capitol) Building is expressionist, and the Palace of the Press, another example of art deco.
The Civil War severely damaged the city, including the Ciudad Universitaria (University City), which was one of the most beautiful architectural complexes of the time. Subsequently, unscrupulous mayors would destroy the old town and the Ensanche, in a city which until the war was a good example of urban planning and architecture. Numerous blocks of flats with no value were built, and some examples of Fascist architecture, such as the Spanish Air Force headquarters (inspired by El Escorial), the Nuevos Ministerios of Secundino Zuazo and the skyscrapers of Plaza de España, at the time the highest in Europe, were built.
With the advent of Democracy and the Spanish economic develope, projecting skyscrapers in the city as Torre Picasso, designed by Minoru Yamasaki; Torres Blancas and Torre BBVA (both by Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza) and once in the 90's, the Torres Kio, architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Moreover, in the 90's completes construction of the Cathedral of the Almudena.
In the 21st century, Madrid faces new challenges in its architecture. It rehabilitates historical spaces to make them modern buildings: a brewery becomes library, a slaughterhouse is now a cultural center, an industrial warehouse is the Interpretation Centre of New Technologies, and the CaixaForum Madrid (Herzog & de Meuron) was a former power station.
Under the government of Alberto Ruiz Gallardón were built the four tallest skyscrapers in Spain, and together form the Cuatro Torres Business Area. The Manzanares River is crossed by new edge bridges, and start up the International Convention Centre (Mansilla+Tuñón), original round building, whose works remain paralyzed by the crisis. Caja Mágica sport centre was also built and the Reina Sofia Museum is expanded with the help of Jean Nouvel.
Madrid Barajas International Airport Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers (winning them the 2006 Stirling Prize), and TPS Engineers, (winning them the 2006 IStructE Award for Commercial Structures) was inaugurated on 5 February 2006. Terminal 4 is one of the world's largest terminal areas, with an area of 760,000 square metres (8,180,572 square feet) in two separate terminals: a main building, T4 (470,000 square metres), and satellite building, T4S (290,000 square metres), which are separated by approximately 2.5 km (2 mi). The new terminal is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey. This is managed through careful use of illumination, available by glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With the new addition, Barajas is designed to handle 70 million passengers annually.
Jean Nouvel and Rafael Moneo are responsible for the addition to the Reina Sofia Museum and the Prado Museum respectively; Norman Foster is responsible for the new Caja Madrid Tower; Álvaro Siza is responsible for the Centre for Tourist Information in Plaza de Colon and the refurbishment of the Prado-Recoletos areas and Santiago Calatrava is responsible for the Obelisk to be built in Plaza de Castilla - these are just some of the newest buildings.
Contributed by ArchiTeam
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