The ABC Center of Drawing and Illustration by Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos comes with a willingness to be an artistic international reference and a cultural symbol of Madrid. The installation in the old factory building on Amaniel Street had to be a suitable intervention in a historic building without sacrificing the character of expressing a contemporary center with a diverse range of cultural and artistic institutions. The existing building had a possible dual access from two streets connecting them through an interior court. Before the intervention, one of the entrances was through a longitudinal height body that closed the courtyard.
Starting here, the architects proposed the main access to the new ABC Center. To achieve this, the mentioned longitudinal body was restructured as a great “girder” of translucent glass that operates as a lintel towards the interior court. Located inside is the cafeteria, and under it, through a glass floor through which you enter the courtyard, the basement of the new center catches the light. To create a space or “atrium” in the new institution that would allow the center to express its contemporary and modern character, it was proposed to use the courtyard as the access space of the building that would serve as a lobby before the entrance to the interior space.
The architectural mechanism used for this aim was based on creating a “vacuum stressed” a “dihedral space” formed by the horizontal plane of the floor of the courtyard and the vertical plane of the facade of the former factory. Both perforated planes are built with similar triangular holes that supply light into the spaces they serve. This generated a “weightless space” that mixes the real, the imaginary and the symbolic. As a “huge magnet”, it catches and carries the viewer into the new institution, provoking simultaneously curiosity, anxiety and pleasure.
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