The design Project of the Telefónica Foundation Space (6.370 m2) forms part of a complete rehabilitation project of the Telefónica Building (Gran Vía, Madrid), a symbolic skyscraper from 1930, regarded as one of the jewels of Spanish architecture dating back to the early 20th century. The Project is coordinated and run by the studio Quanto Arquitectura and it has highlighted the original industrial architecture of the building, creating the functional spaces required to accommodate the technological and artistic heritage of the Telefónica Foundation.
The Project set out to lay bare and show once again the original architecture of the property as part of a process to renovate and update the spaces. The action has been focused on eliminating partition wall sand added elements– during years of remodelling work and adaptations –with a view tore vealing the open-plan floors and fostering the versatility of the space for staging all kinds of exhibitions and events.
Lending continuity to the industrial look characteristics of the property’s architecture, it was decided to opt for concrete floor sand pillars lined in riveted steel which were the original materials deployed in the building. The lighting and air-conditioning installation shave also been left exposed except in the areas earmarked for museographic spaces where they were covered by a metallic mesh ceiling. The interior design concept in this project is based on constructive sincerity which always puts the construction system and the original elements of the building on centre stage.
The entrance to the Telefónica Foundation Space has been coordinated by means of a spacious atrium running across the four storeys and allowing the whole scale of the work to be perceived, affording the user a clear understanding of the space and walkways. This overview is reinforced by two elements which connect all the storeys: a large panoramic lift and a sculpted staircase attached to the façade.
The staircase is supported on a blade structure lined in Corten steelpanels. The reddish colour and the texture of the Corten steel reinforce the industrial style. The panoramic lift is located on a glass box whose whole structure is exposed. At the rear of the lift the plaster coating has been removed, leaving the brick visible to bear witness to the original wall of the building.
The setting up of the new auditorium is one of the unique aspects of this project. Making use of the same geometry and topography of the existing auditorium, a new interpretation of the space is put forward: the closing wall behind the podium is knocked down and it is replaced by large sliding doors. Upon opening the sliding doors, the hemicycle is incorporated into the look of the façade; and, upon closing them,the auditorium retainsits privacy, dimension and original configuration. This flexible use is strengthened by a system of fold-down seats created especially for this auditorium.
The furnishings of the Telefónica Foundation Space is characterised by the fact that it is multipurpose, adapting to any area of the space. The finishes chosen lend a touch of warmth to the industrial style implemented.
Architecture: Quanto Arquitectura & Moneo Brock Studio
Museography: Quanto Arquitectura & Enrique Bonet & DADA NY
Electromechanical Installations: Quanto Arquitectura & Úrculo Asociados
Fire and safety Installations: Quanto Arquitectura & Telefónica Ingeniería de Seguridad, TIS.
Audiovisual Installations: Telefónica Servicios Audiovisuales, TSA & QA.
Communications’ Installations: Telefónica Soluciones, TSOL &QA
Structures’ Design: Quanto Arquitectura & NB-35
Signage: QA & Lambie-Nairn
Photographer name: Carlos Rodríguez