MUSEO NACIONAL DE ARTE REINA SOFIA
JEAN NOUVEL , FERMÍN VÁZQUEZ, ALBERTO MEDEM
RAFAEL GUIJARRO, M.ANTONIA GARCÍA, PATRICIA PARRILLA
JG Y ASOCIADOS
LIGHTING AND SET CONSULTANT
MICHEL COVA, JOSEP M.CIVIT
The competition held in 1999 was for the extension of the MNCARS by means of complementary buildings on the site adjacent to the building by Sabatini. This process culminated in the selection of the project by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, which was subsequently developed and implemented by b720 Arquitectos and Alberto Medem in the executive project and works management phases. The project involves the creation of “a public square” (that emerges from the arrangement of the new buildings: temporary exhibitions, auditorium and library) and the south-east facade of the existing museum. On the other hand, the strategy adopted for the project is to differentiate and segregate the functions and spaces while perceptually unifying them by means of a large roof that would embrace the buildings grouped round the “public square”.
The space is materialised as a set of interstices that invite the citizen to go beyond the bounds of the public thoroughfare and thus establish complementary functions, a dialogue—the fruit of contrast—between the two constructions. From the massive opacity of Sabatini’s building (the rotundity of its simple orthogonal volume) to the lightness and dematerialisation of the new buildings, where glass plays a leading role in this devirtualisation, along with the recessing of the facades on the upper levels that blurs the contours. All this is offset by the cantilevered roof which restores, at least at the topmost level, what is lost at ground level: the definition of the bounds of the museum in its relation with the city.