Location Madrid (Spain)
Client Museo Nacional del Prado
Area 7.923 m²
Collaborator David Chipperfield Architects
In order to integrate the Salón de Reinos building as a new prominent element in the urban campus of the Museo Nacional del Prado, the proposal develops a series of strategic objectives:
The importance and historical character of the central hall is highlighted through a scientific restoration, including the original pictorial works, based on the reconstruction proposed by Álvarez Lopera.
The historic exhibition rooms on the 3rd floor, where the 19th century steel roof structure is proposed to be preserved, are reorganized with a more flexible and efficient system, serving as temporary exhibition areas.
The existing stairwells are reorganized in order to improve vertical public circulation, providing free horizontal communication on each floor which in turn allows for different exhibition configurations.
The ground floor increases the public area for museum visitors, connecting the entrance from the new staircase to the south with that of the existing terrace to the north. A second lobby is also created in the basement, which facilitates the use of the multipurpose room for all public or evening events.
The new entrance volume, with a wide exterior staircase, recovers the original sloping topography and is formally directed towards the Plaza Felipe IV. This gesture brings forward the new entrance of the building, linking it to the Casón del Buen Retiro and connecting it along an axis to the Prado buildings as a whole.
The new architectural element on the south façade, replacing the 20th century intervention, highlights the accessibility and public character of the building and creates a strong relationship with the exterior, connecting the museum to the urban space.
The combination of restoration and new architecture manages to simultaneously strengthen the integrity of the building and balance the two contradictory qualities of a museum: protection and accessibility.