Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio Will Modernize the Prado’s Newest Building

The extension into the Hall of Realms is set to finish by 2019.

View of the new south entrance to the Hall of Realms designed by Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio architects. Image courtesy Museo del Prado.

Madrid’s Museo del Prado has announced that Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio have won the competition to remodel its Hall of Realms, a former wing of a 17th-century palace that housed the Army Museum until 2010, and was acquired by the Prado in 2015.

The winning proposal is titled “Hidden Design,” and was chosen by a jury through a two-part competition. The first phase received 47 entries from teams of architects, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of eight teams, including David Chipperfield Architects and OMA, besides the winning team of Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura.

The proposals of the eight shortlisted teams will be on display in the Prado’s Jerónimos Building beginning December 1.

Inside view of the new south facade atrium of the Prado's Hall of Realms, designed by Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio architects. Image courtesy Museo del Prado.

Inside view of the new south facade atrium of the Prado’s Hall of Realms, designed by Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio architects. Image courtesy Museo del Prado.

“Hidden Design” proposes a new entrance on the building’s south façade, complete with a new atrium space that will extend past the historic façade, protecting and preserving it. The current gabled roof will be removed so that an additional level can be built, providing extra gallery space with the ability to let in natural light, or be blacked out to display light-sensitive works.

“In its decision statement the jury singled out the principal merits of this project as the high quality of the architectural proposal, which respects and emphasizes the preexisting structure, adapting it to present-day requirements; the intelligent way in which this project meets museological requirements; the skilled integration of the building into its surroundings and into the overall context of the Museo del Prado campus; and the project’s efficient cost study,” reads the museum’s press release.

Preparation for the remodel will begin in 2017, and building work the following year. When the competition was announced in March, the museum stated its goal was to finish renovation before 2019, its 200th anniversary.


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