ABC Museum of Graphic Arts, Madrid
The ABC Museum (Spanish: Museo ABC de Dibujo e Ilustración) is a private museum in Madrid, Spain, focused on graphic arts, drawings, and illustration; it is housed in a former brewery converted in 2010 after a design by Spanish architects Aranguren & Gallegos.
The museum is located in central Madrid inside the former Mahou beer factory, a large brick building built in 1891 and designed by architect José López Salaberry. The factory has been converted into a 3,800-square-meter / 40,900-square-foot museum by Madrid-based architecture firm Aranguren & Gallegos and opened to the public on November 17, 2010.
The project by Aranguren & Gallegos combines a very attentive and respectful restoration of the historical building with unmistakably contemporary architecture. The two opposite accesses to the museum from Calle Amaniel and Calle del Limon are connected by a patio conceived as an “open-air lobby”.
“In order to create a space or “atrium” for the new institution, allowing it to express its contemporary and modern character, the solution presented proposes using the internal patio as a lobby for access to the building, becoming the waiting area before entering.” (Aranguren & Gallegos Architects)
The main public access on Calle Amaniel is also topped by a peculiar steel-frame bridged passage, designed to improve internal circulation and to accommodate the cafe of the museum.
Museo ABC, Madrid; view of the “glass bridge” from the internal courtyard. Photo © Jesús Granada.
The Museo ABC main exhibition hall is located underground, right below the patio, and is illuminated by several triangular skylights which also create a tessellated pattern on the courtyard pavement. Similar triangular patterns are disseminated throughout the building, and strongly characterize the facades on the internal courtyard.
On six stories, two of which located underground, the ABC Museum contains two large exhibition halls, multifunctional spaces, a special event room, a restoration facility, workshops, storage space for the collection, administration offices, a cafe, and a gift & book shop.
Interior views of the historical building and the underground exhibition hall. Photos © Jesús Granada.
Collection and exhibitions
The 200,000-piece collection of the ABC Museum comprises drawings, prints, graphic designs, and illustrations from the late-19th century to the present, created by about 1,500 artists, mostly Spanish. Items from the collection are exhibited on a rotational basis in the museum’s permanent exhibition and through thematic special exhibitions that also present the work of international graphic artists and illustrators.
The program of Museo ABC features temporary exhibitions, conferences, seminars, educational activities, creative workshops, concerts, and special events.
A view of the Superheroes exhibition in the underground gallery of the ABC Museum, 2016. Photo Wsifrancis.
Museo ABC, south elevation, and plan. Images: Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos.
An interior view of the glass passage. Photo Wsifrancis.
Detail of the facade cladding. Photo by Rubén Vique.
The main entrance of the museum with a close-up view of the building ventilated facade clad with triangular and trapezoidal aluminum panels. Photo © Jesús Granada.
Cover image: Museo ABC, Madrid; south facade on the patio. Photo © Jesús Granada.
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