An art center and architectural wonder, CaixaForum replaced a power station which stood on the same spot since late 19th century. The building was the only remaining example of industrial architecture and even when it was commissioned to be converted into an exhibition hall, the Swiss architects, Herzog & De Meuron, chose to retain some of the original exterior design.
The brick walls are evidently reminiscent of the former power station; the rest is a pure masterpiece. The basement floor was completely removed, creating the illusion that the building is floating above the ground; one of the walls was transformed into a blooming vertical garden – filled with over 15,000 plants, the first of its kind in the entire country, a splendid work by French botanist Patrick Blanc.
It took almost six years to finish the construction works, and it opened in 2007, CaixaForum instantly became one of the trend-setters in terms of modern art. Beneath the museum’s roof, about 700 art objects from the 80s and to the present days, are treasured; cultural events, from live music and festivals to history and art lectures, countless temporary exhibitions also take place here.
Metro: Atocha (line 1)
Buses: lines 10, 14, 27, 34, 37 and 45 (stop Paseo del Prado)