Gutiérrez-delaFuente Arquitectos revives ateneo de madrid
Gutiérrez-delaFuente Arquitectos has presented its extensive Restoration and renovation of Ateneo de Madrid, a private institution in Spain focused on the dissemination of science, art and literature since 1820. The architectural firm’s approach focused on bringing back natural light to the historic space, improving the site’s accessibility standards and eliminating any negative impact caused by the building through its many reforms century had experienced in recent years.
The project was further driven by the desire to highlight the beauty of the original structure in its spatial context and original materiality, and to ensure that the new interventions reflect the old ones without falling into imitation. This was achieved through the architects’ use of a new materiality – Oak wood – which weaves through the room as a coherent thread between old and new.
Ateneo de Madrid facade renovated | all images © Fernando Alda
Restoration of light and space
Returning natural light to Ateneo was a key priority for The team at Gutiérrez-delaFuente Arquitectos, where efforts have been made to restore the spatial configuration in the main longitudinal section. “The whole process was a work of ‘contemporary archaeology'”, Note the architects. The existing main body of the building was integrated with skylights above the two main staircases that were able to spatially articulate the complex. In the mid-20th century, these skylights and the two-story entrance hall were closed.
The historic Ateneo de Madrid is made up of a collection of emblematic spaces such as the library, the concert hall, the cacharrería (a special space for discussions), the portrait gallery and the former office of Manuel Azaña, who, among other things, contributed significantly to the creative and intellectual history of Spain . Located in the heart of Madrid, the complex consists of three buildings: Prado 19, Prado 21 and Santa Catalina 10, which together are listed as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) with the category of monument. The original building of Prado 21 was designed by Enrique Fort y Luis de Landecho in 1884, the interior by Arturo Mélida y Alinari.
The recent rehabilitation and restoration works, which took place between 2016 and 2022, are part of an ambitious architectural heritage preservation program by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Planning of Spain.
Entrance hall integrated with skylights
Major efforts to restore the spatial configuration in this main longitudinal section
Bring light into the conference room
Sala de la Cacharreria
Despacho de Azana
Surname: Ateneo de Madrid
Designers: Gutiérrez-delaFuente Arquitectos
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edited by: ravail khan | design boom