El Prado Museum
In order to integrate the Hall of Realms building as a new highlight on the urban campus of the Prado National Museum, our proposal develops a series of strategic objectives:
The importance and historical character of the central hall is highlighted by a scientific restoration, including the original pictorial works, based on the reconstruction proposed by Álvarez Lopera.
The historic exhibition halls on the 3rd floor, where we propose to preserve the steel roof structure of the 19th century, are reorganized with a more flexible and efficient system, serving as temporary exhibition areas.
The existing stairwells are reorganized in order to improve public vertical circulation, providing free horizontal communication on each floor which in turn allows different exposure configurations.
The ground floor increases the public area intended for visitors to the museum, connecting the entrance from the new staircase to the south with that of the existing terrace to the north. A second hall is also created on the basement floor, which facilitates the use of the multipurpose room for all public or night events.
The new entrance volume, with a wide exterior staircase, recovers the original inclined topography and is formally directed towards Plaza Felipe IV. This gesture advances the new entrance of the building relating to the Casón del Buen Retiro and connecting it along an axis to the set of buildings of the Prado.
The new architectural element on the southern façade, replacing the intervention of the twentieth century, highlights the accessibility and public character of the building and creates a strong relationship with the exterior, connecting the museum with the urban space.
The combination of restoration and new architecture at the same time strengthens the integrity of the building and balances the two contradictory qualities of a museum: protection and accessibility.