I apologize for totally geeking out here lately. First, here I was telling you all about my tense TEFL camp trauma, then I dove straight into all of the solar geekiness that is the Solar Decathlon and now, well, it’s architecture week here in Madrid, which means for more geek for your week.
So, if you get a chance to check out one of the many activities this week, please do so. La Semana de Arquitectura is an incredible way to see some of Madrid’s fantastic architecture up close. Also, the tours are led by architectural students and from what I’ve seen so far, they are terribly cute, like pinch-their-little-cheeks cute, so, yeah, you should check it out. Here’s the itinerary.
With so many possibilities at my disposal, I decided it would be fitting to start off architecture week with a tour of the new headquarters of the Madrid College of Architecture (COAM) on Hortaleza, La Sede.
La Sede is a great example of reformatting the old to make way for the new. The building was originally a Catholic school, Las Escuelas Pías de San Antón, but in 2005 the city decided to renovate the building into a multi-use complex, housing the headquarters of COAM and a neighborhood social center. Gonzalo Moure won an international bid to head up the project and the finished building was inaugurated earlier this year.
At more than 12,000 square meters, the building has more space than it knows what to do with. The majority of the space is used as the COAM architectural center with lecture halls, meeting rooms, and a library, but the building also includes a public swimming pool, a local school, offices, and a green area that is open to visitors.
Those Madrileños out there know that Calle Hortaleza doesn’t have a “square to spare”, so to see this building revitalized into something so practical and neighborly is one impressive feat.
So, there it is – my first stop on this week’s architectural escapades. Stay tuned for more tales from my Madrid geek week, okay?