The city’s most emblematic buildings will be open to the public on the first weekend of October, celebrating Madrid’s Architecture Week. Over 40 new buildings and urban spaces will join the previous year’s circuit, with over 25,000 visitors: historical buildings such as the National Senate Building, the Zarzuela Theatre, or the National Car Park -where the official car fleet is kept-, as well as recently completed contemporary buildings like the BBVA sail building (by Herzog & de Meuron) or the Repsol Campus, by Spanish architect Rafael de la Hoz.
The events programme will feature a series of parallel activities, lectures -the symposium “The Shape of Things“, organized in collaboration with El Ser Creativo, which will feature national and international experts in art, architecture and design- as well as urban itineraries of different themes.
The list of buildings and spaces includes other proposals such as hotels, factories of different disciplines, headquarters of large business groups, private houses, foundations and cultural centers, classical buildings, meeting room and sports facilities.
Other proposals are emblematic buildings from an architectural point of view such as the Gimnasio Maravillas, located in the Chamartin district, designed by the legendary architect Alejandro de la Sota. There is also possible to visit places like the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid, which was initially designed as a residence for an aristocratic family and which sets a good example of Madrid’s palaces.
We have also planned different specialized routes, like a route through workspaces and rehabilitated buildings. During Open House’s weekend, several architectural and interior design firms will organize special events around the festival.
ABOUT MADRID ARCHITECTURE WEEK
The XIII Edition of the Madrid’s Architecture Week will be held from September 29 to October 9, 2016.
The local Architect’s Guild (COAM), through the COAM Foundation, in partnership the City of Madrid and the Community of Madrid, held this new edition with New York as a guest city for the planned visits and itineraries, thanks to the collaboration of the Embassy of the United States of America in Spain and “Open House”.
The Architecture Week aims to raise awareness and highlight the value of architecture and urbanism bringing it closer to society, both globally and around Madrid. Since last year the Architects’ Guild has launched a new line of collaboration at international level with the aim of inviting a different city each year, generating specific content between Madrid and the chosen city.
The center of the activities takes place at the headquarters of COAM, which organizes and hosts many events exclusively on architecture and urbanism, in collaboration with other institutions in the city which in turn host events at their offices.
ABOUT OPEN HOUSE
Open House was started in 1992 as a small, not-for-profit organisation to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital’s building design and architecture. The intention was to open up London’s splendid buildings to the general public who don’t otherwise have access. We saw this as a way of helping the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engage in dialogue and make informed judgements on architecture.
Buildings surround us in a city but the one thing we do not learn about in schools is the fabric of a place, such as the structure, framework or composition. The urban fabric of our community has such a strong impact on us on an everyday basis.
Core to our beliefs and values is having direct experience. You can’t make an informed decision merely through abstract images, such as photos and illustrations. You need to be engaged with the space in question to know what the reality is.
Perceptions of the city have changed over the past 20 years. Public space, including landscape architecture, are now recognised as essential parts of a city. Open-City has taken the original initiative one step further by including public spaces and infrastructure. While the public may already have access to these areas, the point of Open-City is to draw attention to the value that public space offers to the community, broadening dialogue further.
Our main role is advocacy. We aim to help change perceptions, break down barriers and inspire people to demand high-quality places for current and future generations. Our pioneering programmes and initiatives are designed to meet the needs of decision-makers, young people and the wider community. And it is the success of our approach as an advocacy body that has positioned us as a progressive and influential authority among these groups.
The public domain cannot be created without the public’s involvement. Usually, it’s something ‘done to the public’, who usually have no choice but to hope that those who are responsible for creating and developing that space will do so in their best interests. So our mantra is that this must become part of our education system, and Open-City attempts to do just that.