Nestled on the beautiful complex of pavilions designed by Luis Bellido at the turn of the twentieth century as a slaughterhouse and cattle market, this center for contemporary artistic creation and its promotion, along with Madrid Río, houses a number of examples of what has become known as “nueva arquitectura madrileña”, or New Madrilenian Architecture. In 2005, when permission was granted to give the complex a cultural use, at the direction of the Arts area of the Madrid City Council, work began on new projects whose fundamental premise is architectural preservation of the exterior of the warehouses. Without conflicting with the above, the center became an architectural testing ground, holding reversibility of the work done as a guideline, which would enable the buildings to be returned to their original state.
The work specifically keeps all traces of the past tore inforce the experimental nature of the new institutions being housed there. To this end, a balance has been sought between maximum respect for the space and specific provisions that distinguish it, through the limited use of directly industrial mate-rials and, at the same time, make it serviceable for the various uses that can be accommodated the-re. The bet, judging by the results, the recognition and the interest it is attracting beyond our borders, appears to be paying off. Two of the most recent projects-the Nave de Música and Nave 16-were finalists for the FAD de Arquitectura 2012 awards.After the visit paid by the jury of the FAD to MataderoMadrid, in an unprecedented decision, it was decided to recognize collectively the work of all the architects who participated in the renovation process.
The decision values “equally the overall attitude of the project, which has made a brave gamble in sup-porting experimentation and respecting free spaces managed by a civil society, and the conceptualization of the project, beginning with its inception in 2007 with the rehabilitation of the vestibule and the Intermediae space, up to and including the recent work done on the Nave 16 and the Nave de Música, finalists for the current edition of the Premios FAD”.
Additionally, the jury highlighted Matadero Madrid’s“collective intelligence, the unity that is inferred to it by the existing industrial architecture, and with the minimum of prominence in the exterior of the new projects, on the inside the diverse needs of the center’s extensive program are met with rigor and authenticity, looking not only to maintain architectural spaces and structural forms, but also the character, atmosphere and, above all, the inimitable passage of time.”
Also this year the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid awarded one of their COAM prizes to Cineteca and Archivo Documenta, and to the Nave 16, all part of Matadero Madrid. Finally, worthy of note is the interconnection of Matadero Madrid and Madrid Río through the conversion of public spaces -Calle and Plaza Matadero- by the same team of architects -Ginés Garrido, Carlos Rubio and Fernando Porras- that created Madrid Río. There are, additionally, plans for this connection, now real as well, thanks to two new entrances, to be expanded between December 2012 and July 2013. Madrid Río has received, among other awards, the International Architecture Award 2012 from the Chicago Athenaeum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, the Urban Design and Landscaping Award given by the InternationalCommittee of Architectural Critics CICA, as part of the XIII Bienal de Buenos Aires, and the Premio FAD de Ciudad y Paisaje 2012, as well as others.