CaixaForum Madrid is a live space opening its doors to old, modern and contemporary art, to music and poetry festivals, to multimedia art, to debates on current affairs, to social symposiums and family and educational workshops. Located in a spectacular building on Paseo del Prado which was once the Mediodía Electric Power Station, it is one of the landmarks in our city.
Owned by the Obra Social la Caixa, CaixaForum is a 21st-century sociocultural centre. The impressive building is a former electric power station rehabilitated by the architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron, and is located on Paseo del Prado, 36, next to the Art Walk which is home to Madrid's top three museums: the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofía. Its calendar is open to all disciplines and audiences, guaranteeing the success of an institution which contributes even more to the already rich cultural offering in Madrid.
The former Mediodía Electric Power Station -designed in 1899 by Jesús Carrasco, and one of the few examples of industrial architecture in the old part of town- has been rehabilitated by the prestigious Swiss firm founded by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2001). Thanks to this refurbishment the area of the building is now five times larger -10,000 square metres-, placing this building back on the map. It has maintained the Power Station's four original façades, delimited by calles Gobernador, Alameda, Almadén and Cenicero.
The brick façade of the former construction has been restored by hand. Furthermore, added volume has been given to a building which has two easily recognisable features: its vertical garden and its "levitation". The latter comes with the removal of the granite base surrounding the old factory, giving the impression of a floating building over a large public plaza, open on all four sides.
Caixaforum has devoted over 2,000 square metres to exhibition rooms, an auditorium with capacity for 322 people, a media library, several multi-function rooms for conferences and other events, preservation and restoration workshops and a storage area for works of art. A spacious lobby, café, gift and book shop and a restaurant complete this cultural centre.