We want to highlight the spectacular work done by Aranguren & Gallegos Architects in the new ABC Drawing and Illustration Centre, which is willingto be a leading artistic space at an international level and also a symbol of Madrid’s culture. So we start the process and from our studio, we can tell you that the installation in the old factory building on the street Amaniel must be “appropriate for a historic building, but without sacrificing the character required for a contemporary centre with a diverse range of culture and art linked to most avant-garde institutions of our time.


The existing building can be accessed from two streets that connect with an inner courtyard. One of the entrances on the street Amaniel is now found underneath a body built lengthwise from a tall buildingthat closes the courtyard to the street. From this side, the main entrance to the new ABC Centre can be seen. We are told that the restructuring mentioned of this body was done as a large ‘beam’ of translucent glass that operates like a lintel of a passage opening into the courtyard. As a result, the café is found inside and light will pass through a glass floor upon which you walk as you enter the courtyard down to the basement of the new centre. To create a space or ‘atrium’ for the new institution, enabling it to express its contemporary and modern character, it was proposed, inthis solution, to use the courtyard as that space, a hall used to access the building and act as the lobby prior to entering.


The architectural mechanism used to achieve this objective is based on the creation of a stressed vacuum, a dihedral space; formed by the horizontal plane of the floor of the courtyard and the vertical plane of the interior face of the former factory. They told us that “both planes were pierced with similar triangular holes, allowing light into the spaces created. Photo: Jesús Granada.

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