Convention Center in Madrid, Spain

Through a distinct spatial organization, this project alters a typology which is usually characterized by rigidity. Rather than the chaotic and dehumanized world that congress and exhibition centers frequently represent, we proposed a building which shows an extraordinary clarity and ease of use and orientation.

The strategy consists of placing all the uses comprising the program’s small grain alongside the perimeter of the building, giving rise to a sort of “membrane with thickness.” This blurred limit is no longer conceived as the separation between outside and inside; between a newly proposed green—in the form of a wild urban continuity—and the interior space. Instead, such a limit constitutes a support for the transition. Further, the membrane is placed alongside the plot perimeter in such a way that its thickness is maximized without losing a clear distinction between outer shell and interior, thereby making possible something that is not very common in these types of buildings: to provide all of the activities with exterior spaces.

In order to carry out this strategy, three elements are established: outline, interior magma, and objects (auditoria) inserted within. This setup yields two floors of similar reading, practically identical. The user can thus assimilate a code of orientation that makes his visit more pleasant.


Location: Madrid, Spain

Type: Convention Center

Scale: 200.000 m2 (2.1M SF)

Status: Open Competition, 2007

Team: José Aragüez, Studio Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas