Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid

Madrid is unfathomable. If the city itself is immense, it´s examples of interesting architecture are overwhelming. For over a half a century, Madrid has been an experimental laboratory for modern and contemporary architecture in Spain. With numerous examples of innovative and experimental architecture, as well as many failures, few of which are valued and recognized. This selection seeks to show archetypal examples of architecture that have transcended time; it does not intend to be an exhaustive list of the city´s architectural works. Many will think that the list lacks important buildings and personally, I couldn´t agree more. That is perhaps the beauty of Madrid: there is a diversity of opinion, there are thousands of sites to see, the city surprises you with every step you take.

Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid - More Images+ 16

As part of this selection, we have the works that gave form to Spanish modernity. Buildings created from the minds of the modernity geniuses of the likes of Sota and Oiza. But these alone wouldn´t do the city justice. We have also included the great exponents of the first contemporaneity, pioneers of a movement that was rejected in its time but that gave shape to the current contemporaneity. Lastly, we have included urban references that have shaped the city, undervalued projects that have had great importance to the way of city making in Spain.

The list doesn´t include everything, but I believe that the selection will help the reader understand Madrid. Welcome.

Madrid-Barajas Airport, Terminal T4 / Estudio Lamela + Richard Rogers Partnership

Terminal T4, Barajas Airport. Image © Estudio Lamela + Richard Rogers Partnership

Complejo Financiero Cuatro Torres Business Area / Foster and Partners, César Pelli, Carlos Rubio Carvajal y Enrique Álvarez-Sala Walter, Ieoh Ming Pei & Henry N. Cobb

Paseo de la Castellana

© Wilhelm Lappe [Flickr], License CC BY 2.0

Colón Towers/ Antonio Lamela

Calle Génova 31

Kio Towers. Image via Drow Male [Wikipedia], GNU Free Documentation License

Puerta de Europa / Philip Johnson & John Burgee

Av. de América 37

Torres Blancas (white towers). Image via

Torres Blancas (white towers) / Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza

Av. de América 37

Colón Tower. Image via Antonio Lamela [Wikipedia], License CC BY-SA 4.0

BBVA Tower/ Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza

Calle Castellana 81

BBVA Tower. Image © amaclasvecino [Flickr], License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

BBVA City/ Herzog & de Meuron

Calle Sauceda 28

Ciudad BBVA. Image © Joel Filipe

Giner de los Ríos Foundation / Amid.cero9

Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 14

Giner de los Ríos Foundation. Image © José Hevia

San Chinarro Lookout/ MVRDV

Calle Princesa de Éboli, 13-21

San Chinarro Lookout. Image © Wojtek Gurak [Flickr], License CC BY-NC 2.0

CaixaForum / Herzog & de Meuron

Paseo del Prado, 36

CaixaForum. Image © Ismael Alonso, License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

8 B Nave / Arturo Franco

Paseo de la Chopera, 14

Nave 8B, Madrid´s Matadero. Image © Carlos Fernández Piñar

EcoBoulevard / Urban Ecosystem

Bulevar de la Naturaleza, 13G


Urban Laboratory, Carabanchel Neighbourhood / Multiple Authors

Carabanchel, Madrid

Housing in Carabanchel. Image © Miguel de Guzmán

Parish Church of Santa Monica / Vicens & Ramos

Calle Libertad 17, Rivas-Vaciamadrid

Iglesia Parroquial en Rivas Vaciamadrid. Image Cortesía de Vincens + Ramos

Hydrographical Studies Centre/ Miguel Fisac

Paseo Bajo de la Virgen del Puerto, 3

Maravillas Gymnasium/ Alejandro de la Sota

Calle Joaquín Costa 21, Madrid

Gimnasio Maravillas. Image © Fundación Alejandro de la Sota

Zarzuela Hippodrome/ Eduardo Torroja + Carlos Arniches + Martín Domínguez

Autovía del Noroeste (A-6), kilómetro 8

Zarzuela Hippodrome. Image © Ana Amado

House and Office of Fernando Higueras

Rascainfiernos. Image Cortesía de Fundación Fernando Higueras, Lola Botia

Poblado Dirigido de Caño Roto / José Luis Íñiguez de Onzoño Angulo y Antonio Vázquez de Castro Sarmiento

Avenida Nuestra Señora de Valvanera / calles Laguna, Ariza, Escalonilla, Gallur, Vía Carpetana y Glorieta de los Cármenes

Poblado Dirigido de Caño Roto

3D Printed Bridge / IAAC

Parque de Castilla-La Mancha en Alcobendas, Madrid

Primer Puente impreso en 3D del mundo. Image Cortesía de IAAC
About this author
Cite: Picado, Miguel. "Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid" [Guía de Arquitectura de Madrid: 20 lugares que todo arquitecto debe conocer] 20 Sep 2017. ArchDaily. (Trans. Pimenta, Amanda ) Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

CaixaForum. Image © Ismael Alonso, License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.