Casanova+Hernandez architects | A034_Palacio de Comunicaciones


A034_Palacio de Comunicaciones

Madrid, Spain

In 1904 Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi won the competition to build the new General Post Office Palace of Madrid. In 2004, a competition is launched in order to rehabilitate it and to adapt it to new functions such as Cultural Center and the Madrid Municipal Government dependences.

The proposal seeks to respect the architectural values of the existing building and tries to be coherent with the original intentions of the architects Antonio Palacios y Joaquín Otamendi.

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Design process:

The design is based on a series of interventions in the building that can be put in order according to the following conceptual sequence:

A  Analysis of the current state of the building and valuation of the elements that have to be demolished.

The elements that will be kept are the protected floors, facades and artistic elements, as well as the original structure. The rest of the building is in its majority demolished.

B Analysis of the new programme, which could be easily integrated in the existing building and the functions that should be placed in the new interventions.

C New interventions: glazed volumes.
Four compact interventions will be in charge of revitalizing the four most significant areas of the project.

New interventions:

1 The first intervention:

It is executed in the main inner courtyard of the existing building and it consists of two glazed prismatic volumes that connect the different levels of the building vertically and that will become the main reference point of the cultural centre.

2 The second intervention:

It appears in the exterior courtyard in a strategic place linked to all the different areas of the programme. Because of its easy connection with the rest of the building, most of the new required programme is placed in this point of the complex. A new glazed volume will shelter the main auditorium and above it, the room for the plenary sessions of the Municipality of Madrid will be located. The new volume is inserted in the courtyard without touching the existing facades in order to preserve them and to create a fluent space around the new volume, capable of articulating the flows of people of the different areas of the complex.

3 The third intervention:

It is placed in the tower of the existing building. The aim is to open it to the general public. In that way, the tower will become a privileged belvedere over the city of Madrid.

4 The fourth intervention:

It consists of a glazed vertical communication core that resolves the communication system of the administration area.

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Madrid Municipality
Restructuring of the Telecommunications Palace, New City Hall of Madrid, Cultural Center
Competition. Second prize
30.000 m²