The MA: Andalucia’s Museum of Memory / Alberto Campo Baeza

© Javier Callejas

Architect: Alberto Campo Baeza
Location: Granada, Andalucía,
Client: Caja de Granada
Collaborators: Alejandro Cervilla García, Ignacio Aguirre López
Structure: Andrés Rubio Morán, Mª Concepción Pérez Gutiérrez
Engineering: R. Úrculo Ingenieros Consultores S.A.
Estudiantes: Miguel Cabrillo, Sergio Sánchez Muñoz, Petter Palander
Project Area: 15.000 sqm
Project Year: 2006-2009
Photographs: Javier Callejas

We would like to make “the most beautiful building” for the Museo de al Memoria de Andalucía (Andalusia’s Museum of Memory) in Granada. The MA. A museum that wishes to transmit the entire history of Andalusia. As early as Roman times, Strabo described the inhabitants of Andalusia as “the most cultivated of the Iberians, who have laws in verse.”

patio floor plan

Our project for the MA is a building in line with the Central Headquarters of the CAJA GRANADA Savings Bank that we finished in 2001. We propose a podium building measuring 60×120 m and rising three stories, so that its upper floor coincides with the podium of the main CAJA GRANADA building. And its façade as well. Everything is arranged around a central courtyard, in elliptical form in which circular ramps rise, connecting the three levels and creating a very interesting spatial tension. The dimensions of the elliptical courtyard have been taken from the courtyard of the Palace of Charles the V in the Alhambra.

© Javier Callejas

And to crown it all, as if it were a Gate to the City, a strong vertical piece emerges, the same height and width as the main building of the CAJA GRANADA. It thus appears before the highway that circles Granada as a screen-façade that sends messages over the large plasma screens that will cover it entirely. Like Piccadilly Circus in London or Times Square in New York.

© Javier Callejas

And to finish the entire operation, a large horizontal platform all the way to the River, the MA open FIELD that will serve as a public space in that new area of the city of Granada.

section 01

The new building, silent in its forms, is resounding in its elements to communicate the messages of the new millennium in which we are already immersed.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The MA: Andalucia’s Museum of Memory / Alberto Campo Baeza" 24 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I find it really strong, blunt, intense and self evident, perhaps a bit excessive with all the architectural methadiscurse e.g. Charles V palace, penguins’ in the ramp detail to make the obvious relation to Lubetkin penguin’s pool, the conceptual diagrams to establish a clear and premeditated relationship between la Cajas office building and the new museum from its conception.
    I would like to know more about the interior, to see how these blunt architecture deals with the exhibits. Because after you see the images and read the text you end up feeling that whatever they put inside doesn´t matter, the space is what matters, I´m an architect and love space but at the end the exhibits have their importance.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    … Next thing they are going to do is the 5th Avenue next to the museum hahaha. Anyway, it’s a beautiful museum.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Been waiting years to see the completed project and it does not disappoint. Exquisitely executed. Refreshingly sparse. I am intrigued to know more about the interior of the building… and obviously it will warrant a visit.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Am I missing something? It looks like a hospital or a pharmaceutical company,not a history museum. And does it remind me of Andalucía? Not really, it makes me think of a hospital, cleanliness, antiseptic-ness, etc.
    But then again, what do I know, you guys must be the experts…

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    alejandro, yes, some interior views would be nice. otherwise this is a wonderfully spartan project. and I don’t mind the overt discursive references, cause face it, we are all fishing in the past at one point or another during any design process. I wonder though if adding the large plasma screen will override the design’s bluntness by making it even more blunt? hmm…

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’m an architect too for all that matters and I’m not too keen on the detail of the column supporting the ramps. Come on, a beautiful curved ramp flowing into each other and then support it with a rectangular L shaped column/beam like they had no tme to think about it properly. Maybe I’m missing something or maybe the pic is not clear. And I also agree with Rogue that there’s no connection with Andalucía but even so it doesn’t have to – fair enough!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Alberto! why are you copying Ando Tadao architectural language?
    not nice, such an ArchiTect?

    • Thumb up Thumb down -1

      copying Ando´s language? this comment is obviously based on a few piectures with a complete missunderstanding of the building and architecture itself.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    … I love the circle within the oval. The tension it creates is mind-blowing.

    …The penguin’s sectional cameo is brilliant.

    …and a 10mm ramp edge!!!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Cranbury: Regarding the ramp section detail with the penguins: Can you tell me how the IPN 180′s are connected to the main steel section at the center? I don’t get it?

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think sunglasses are imperative to walk in such a bright and clean space as where the ramps spiral. I’m not sure how much functional sense those make, but the space is unique. The detail where the spiral ramp meets the connecting flat walkways seems borderline hazardous, with its awkward uneven step height.

    The cafe space on the top floor of the building is truly amazing. I feel a sort of vertigo looking at Javier Calleja’s photo, there is an amazing sense of being suspended over the landscape. I would love to have dinner up there around sunset!

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Una idea tan básica tan de estudiante de tercer año,
    que resulta casi ofensiva.
    Pasaje de ida a Holanda para Campo Baeza, a ver si
    logra comprender la complejidad
    inherente al capitalismo del siglo XXI !

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      a ver a los nunca esquematicos mvrdv, koolhas y compañia no? que sea sencillo no quiere decir que no sea profundo y sutil. Aunque dicho sea de paso alberto ha bajado un poco la intensidad con la edad. La casa turegano y la caja de granada nunca seran igualadas en su carrera

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The spiral inside reminds me of Guggenheim Museum in NY, although I’m saying this in a positive manner.
    I’m sure this space was thought to have objects of a considerable dimension in exhibition.
    Good work!

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I have been here and I really enjoyed it. I think that while someone made a comment implying it was sterile, the spiral adds a real sense of delight and just sheer joy to the circulation.
    Yes, you do need sunglassses walking through that courtyard, but it really is an incredibly delightful building. It really belongs in its context and adds to it, both walking through the building, which is beautifully detailed, into the courtyard and around the building itself.

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