Herzog and de Meuron-Caixa Forum

Forum Madrid implements a new concept in social and cultural centres, offering a comprehensive and innovative programme that enhances the integrating capacity of culture and its importance for people’s communication and well-being. Part of that being the combination of old and new form. The visibility of the Tate Modern(a power station turned into a museum) led the director of the Caixa Foundation, Luis Monreal, to commission Herzog & de Meuron for the renovation that emerges as a live space opening its doors to the public.
The la Caixa Foundacion wanted the CaixaForum Madrid to be a living centre that opens its doors on the Paseo del Prado to place itself at the service of citizens. Within the la Caixa’s cultural initiatives, the CaixaForums provide permanent building venues where some of their cultural activities such as exhibitions of ancient, modern and contemporary art, music and poetry festivals, multimedia art, debates on contemporary issues, social seminars, educational and family-oriented workshops may be housed, as well as their ongoing and, typically, permanent exhibits.
Knowledge is promoted and personal growth enhanced for citizens of all ages. Though the building’s exterior performs sculpturally, the programmatic desire is to be an experiential system. Along with the cultural operation and importance to the program, the experience of the space is carried through in how it affects the senses. Each program perfoms differently, playing with materials, shapes, and lights. Pleated and welded steel continues from the lobby ceiling and wraps up through the entrance staircase that leads the people into the building through the pattern and re? ection.

The lobby walls are made of concrete, but the lights mimic the pattern of the staircase pulling one in and enlarging the space. The foyer and auditorium are covered by a deploye type expanded sheet metal mesh, creating an undulating, dynamic structure. Being underground, this opens the space and lifts the feeling of con? nement. The ? oors of the foyer and auditorium are laid with American oak making an inviting environment. The art gallery ? oors are a continuous white terrazzo paving, made from powdered marble, cement, resin and ? bres lighting the space and making it continous, making visitors more drawn in.
The main stairs are a continous ruled surface that invites occupiers through. The lower ? oor of the new expansion acts as a transition that is labyrinthe-like in the material movement and change that pulls one up into the upper ? oor. The upper ? oor consists of the irregular, perforated cast iron panels that coincidewith the glass surfaces create a sort of release from the rest of the building, allowing views across the roofscapes of Madrid. CaixaForum Main Gallery- 4 CaixaForum- 3 Smaller exhibition halls – 6 Chidren’s workshop- 5 8 CaixaForum Madrid 06 05

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