Ferrovial La ingeniería civil como arte: creatividad e innovación

A Place of Age-Old Skills

Málaga, Spain

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On the outside is a Renaissance style with Plateresque and Mudejar touches. Inside, it’s modernist, cubist, surreal. Between are walls and floors of sobriety, simplicity, and utility. Malaga’s Buenavista Palace is history and art.

The Picasso Museum is architecture, sculpture, and painting. They are one and the same, the ultimate example of how form and function can intersect seamlessly.

The palace was built in Malaga long before Picasso made his first drawing – and he began painting at an early age. The building is the most important piece of the city’s civil architecture from the 16th century. It reflects a moment of transition. Its architecture, clearly Renaissance in style, has looked to the future since that century. Its Plateresque Gothic facade looks to the recent past and to difference. And its Mudejar art motifs gesture to an Islamic heritage that is an integral part of the city’s history.

The transformation to a museum

This historical heritage site has transformed into a sober space capable of featuring art from another time, all without losing its essence – not an easy task. Turning the Buenavista Palace into the Picasso Museum involved a meticulous restoration: invisible shoring of the walls to support the weight of artworks; treating the windows to seal out light and heat, those eternal enemies of painting; integrating air supply systems in the wood of the coffered ceiling.

Excavating an underground room was also necessary. This space transports us to a time long ago. Today, the vestiges of Phoenician and Roman inhabitants of Malaga found during construction are on display. They take us on a journey over a thousand years, following the course of humankind’s manual skills.

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