News - Arquitectura Viva 162
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid gave the image of an immense old house with an interior space that had lost all charm and character after successive renovations. Officially opened on 1 April, finally, the new MAN has gained back the identity of the 19th-century edifice that had been built by Francisco Jareño, while taking on the personality pertaining to a bona fide contemporary museum, thereby joining the olympus of the Spanish capital’s cultural references. The successful transformation owes to six years of painstaking works, slightly over 65 million euros spent, and a carefully tackled project of Juan Pablo Rodríguez Frade, who has resorted to a scant but efficient palette of materials: travertine marble and wood. The intervention has effectively expanded the institution’s exhibition galleries from 7,000 to 10,000 square meters, facilitated natural lighting, and altered the composition of the entrance in order to enable visitors to follow, as they could never before, a clear-cut chronological route that goes from Paleolithic art to the 19th century through 13,000 archaeological treasures and 20,000 years.