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  • Hierarchy of Entrances

    The Extension Project of Prado, Madrid

    Architect: Rafael Moneo
    Text and photos: Erika Nyáry

    Acting as the patron of museums, the Spanish royal family and the Ministry of Culture as maintainer decided to extend Prado. In 1995 a total of 700 designs concerning the concept were submitted for the open international tender inviting designs for the concept. The winner, Rafael Moneo was commissioned to design in 1998, whilst the National Office for the Proction of Heritage simultaneously worked on the project taking apart and reconstructing the ambulatory of the 16th-century monasteryof the Hieronymus order in an authentic way. As a result the total area of the museum was now over 22,000 m2, which is more than 50% plus of the original area. Rafael Moneo respected the existing museum building as much as possible and wanted to attach other protected monuments to the complex. As a result, a harmonious unity was born, with a single new mass which is connected to the old wings in a hidden way: the neck moulding linking them is underground whilst its topping ceiling was landscaped with a Baroque-style ornamental garden. Evoking the 18th century with a geometrically shorn hedge, the spectacle embracing it and the neighburing Royal Botanical Gardens functions as an integral unit.

    Architect: Rafael Moneo
    Design: Christoph Schmid, Belén Hermida, Mariano Molina, Carmen Díez, Jacobo García Germán, Borja Peña
    Structural engineer: Jesús Jiménez Cañas, NB 35 Ingenieros
    Mechanical engineering: Rafael Úrculo Aramburu, Úrculo Ingenieros Consultores
    Client: Ministry of Culture