Jean Nouvel's Addition to the Reina Sofia Museum

Jean Nouvel’s Addition to the Reina Sofia Museum

One of the main museums of Madrid, the Reina Sofia Museum boasts a Jean Nouvel expansion wrapped in a glossy red lacquered facade. Curving around corners and up into the building’s center, it is composed of large, light weight composite panels.

Completed in 2005, this expansion to the 18th century building the museum is in housed the San Carlos Hospital until 1965.  Due to it’s ever-expanding collection, the institution contacted Jean Nouvel, who in turn came up with an addition that would be in his words, ‘in the shadow’ of the original building. “…for the existing museum must clearly dominate. It must impose its power simply and clearly.”

The extension also contains a public realm, and, from the museum’s website: “In this way the Museum responded not only to its proposed needs, but also to a clear call to transform the neighborhood’s surrounding environment. By creating a public square – as set forth in the building code of the new buildings and the southwest facade of the current Museum – a space within the city and for the city was created.”