Centro Nacional de Artes Visuales, Madrid

Urban Integration

The Old Tobacco Factory of Madrid is located on Embajadores Street, in the heart of Madrid, extending the museum axis formed by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Prado National Museum, the Caixa Forum, the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum and the Casa Encendida.

The project seeks to integrate the Art Center into the urban fabric. The proposal eliminates the perimeter wall of the factory incorporating the free space of the site to the city. The new public square allows a greater visibility of the CNAV, in which is located the new main access on the south façade, the only facade that can be appreciated in its totality, presenting the total height of four floors of the building to the Glorieta Embajadores.

The urban integration of the project consists of the consolidation of the city block by continuing the built fabric along its eastern edge. A new built volume on the corner of the street Meson de Paredes and Miguel Servet street complete the volume, housing the Library-Media Library on its ground floor and the management and administration services in the rest of the floors.

Spatial Organization

The main access in located on the longitudinal axis of the Tobacco Factory with direct access from the new plaza of the visual arts which opens the Center to the Glorieta Embajadores and the city. This axis articulates the succession of existing patios. The first patio is transformed into a large hall of triple height, acquiring the scale and representativeness necessary for the establishment of a National Center. From the large atrium you can access one of the two staircases and elevators that start the different possible access routes within the Center. The unique spatial and compositional value of the three courtyards is reinforced by maintaining them as fixed points of reference and orientation throughout all the different circulation routes within the Tobacco Factory.

The spaces of reception, services and diffusion shared by all the entities of the Center are grouped in and around these three courtyards, which are singular pieces of the typology of the whole. The large reception atrium connects with the central garden patio through the Cafeteria-Restaurant. The Auditorium, inserted in the ground floor of the second side patio, and its large anteroom complete the sequence of spaces that reinforce the values of the whole of the Tobacco Factory.

All the spaces of the center are accessible from the longitudinal axis of circulation that connects the communication nuclei in each plant. The circulation axes enhance the annular paths around the three courtyards. The new staircases, elevators and bathrooms have a landing area on each floor that communicates with the ambulatory of the side yards. The original stairs are restored preserving their historical architectural value.

The project completes the symmetry of the volume of the historic building on the east longitudinal wing while maintaining the values of the constructive and spatial system that define and differentiate the second floor from the rest of the complex. The interventions on a historical complex are part of its history so the intention of the proposal to rehabilitate and condition the Tobacco Factory is not to return it to its original state, but to take it to an ideal state that perhaps it never came to have.