FCC Construcción has left its mark on the skyline of many of the most important cities in the world, thanks to a highly qualified team that use the most advanced techniques of intelligent construction, management and control of buildings. Some of the leading infrastructure works of contemporary Spanish architecture are included among these projects, such as the T4 Terminal of Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Porta Fira Tower, Castellana Tower in Madrid or the City of Justice of Barcelona, the city of The Sciences of Valencia, Torre Picasso, Torres Kio or the Auditorium de León.
The Museum of Royal Collections
A recent example added to this list of works is the Museum of Royal Collections of Madrid, in which FCC has carried out almost all the works on the building. The development of the project has been done with the highest respect for the environmental and quality standards. Located between the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral, designed by the architects Emilio Tuñón and Luis Moreno Mansilla, the space has been promoted by National Heritage to permanently house the collections of tapestries, carriages, paintings and decorative works of art belonging to the Monarchy.
The building occupies 46,000 square meters over 14 floors and is destined to become a unique place in Madrid and one of the most important museums built in the city this century. In it, will be exhibited 155,000 pieces of great artistic and historical value of the National Patrimony, linked to the Crown of the Kingdom of Spain; more than half of them, never before on show.
The new center will become a cornerstone of a unique space in the city of Madrid, where fundamental elements of the national architecture coexist, such as the Campo del Moro, Sabatini Gardens, the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, Teatro Real, the architectural complex of the Vistillas and the Madrid of the Austrias, as well as San Francisco el Grande. The public access is located in the Plaza de la Armería, through a 10m high building which is partially hidden behind the facade of the Cathedral.
The first three phases
FCC Construcción has completed the first three phases of a project of great technical difficulty highlighting the company’s capacity for the development of this type of unique infrastructure, with more than 115 years of experience.
- First phase
In the first phase, FCC Construcción erected the containment screens and emptied the lot, to provide the necessary space for the implantation of the museum, with the least impact on the environment. The work represented an architectural, technical, artistic and historical challenge and presented an important singularity, since the building itself had to contain the force exerted on the land from unevenness of more than 30m resulting from the geometry. In this sense, and as a preliminary step to the realization of the Museum, a pile wall was built next to the Cathedral of the Almudena and the Royal Palace to excavate 36m under the level of the esplanade of the cathedral.
Given the characteristics of the terrain, formed by clayey soils of the tertiary of Madrid, FCC Construcción applied the most innovative technology in these anchors. In its excavation the screens, previously constructed, were fixed in seven levels of anchorage, monitored of active form. An inverted pendulum control was performed on the rendering process and the building structure was completed with 10 forging heights, which allowed the provisional anchors to be deactivated, leaving the ground forces supported by the building itself. This approach prevented the structures of both the Cathedral and the arcades of the Plaza de la Armería, which lean on the top, from being affected.
This aspect especially conditioned both the design of the building and the construction process, always maintaining its functional constraints as a museum, which needs large spaces. In this regard, and in order to achieve a structure of maximum rigidity, we tried to take advantage of all the elements that the architectural design allows, having portico structures, rigid communications cores and shielded elements.
- Second phase
FCC Construcción also developed the second phase of this project, which consisted of the foundation and completion of the structure, all of white concrete, marble aggregate and cement of the same color, as well as the urbanization of the Plaza de la Almudena and nearby. This phase is a clear example of the significant deployment of control means used by FCC Construcción to ensure correct structural operation.
Proof of this, the XIII Biennial of Spanish Architecture and Urbanism awarded this work in its Heritage and Transformation category. Among other aspects, he emphasized that “the supporting structure takes great importance in the spatial organization of the Museum. It is configured by the serial repetition of a set of white concrete portals, in which the scratching of the repetitive structure qualifies the space. The structure, the lighting, the views and the space blur their borders and exchange their attributes, because they want to be a single thing, thought at once.”
- Third phase
The third phase of this project was based on the urbanization of the Plaza de la Almudena and its surroundings. The performance was carried out on 9,500 square meters and included the delivery of the covers and facades of the squares of the Almudena, of the Museum of Royal Collections and the Armory, as well as the completion of the works of carpentry and blacksmithing and the urbanization of the environment.
During the first phase of the works, special care was taken in the foundations given the appearance of archaeological remains. To preserve the artistic heritage, work was done in order to reconcile the protection of the vestiges found and the construction, since it was necessary to discover, document and disassemble for the conservation of all the findings that appeared on the ground.
In particular, sections of the Islamic wall were found, numerous objects of daily use in a medieval slums corresponding to the Madrid Foundation, human remains corresponding to burials, possibly of the middle Ages, and unexploded shells from the Spanish Civil War. They also found the Royal Gas Factory, which was built in 1832 during the reign of Fernando VII, as well as a former official pavilion and barracks that once guarded the Royal Palace.