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Edificio Metrópolis
Metropolis Building 04Aug2008.jpg
Building information
Name Edificio Metrópolis
Location Madrid
Country Spain
Architect Jules and Raymond Février[1]
Client La Unión y el Fénix
Construction started 4 June 1907[1]
Completed 21 January 1911[1]
Style Romanesque[1]

The Metropolis Building or Edificio Metrópolis (Spanish) is an office building in Madrid, Spain, at the corner of the Calle de Alcalá and Gran Vía. Inaugurated in 1911, it was designed by Jules and Raymond Février for the insurance company La Unión y el Fénix. It is currently owned by Metrópolis Seguros.

Contents

History

Start of construction

After La Unión y el Fénix acquired the ground in 1905, they launched an international competition for the opportunity to design their building.[2] Among French and Spanish architects, Jules and Raymond Février won, and construction started in 1907.[1] The two French brothers gave the building a French, Romanesque style (Bajo Imperio in the source), which was quite unusual at the time.[1]


For its construction, five homes had to be demolished between two streets: Calle de Alcalá and Calle del Caballero de Gracia. At that time, the Gran Via was still in design phase.[1]

In 1910 construction was finished, and on 21 January 1911 the building was inaugurated.

New owners

In 1972 Metrópolis Seguros acquired the building, and the previous owner decided to take the original statue, by then very familiar in Madrid's skyline, to their new headquarters.

The original statue on top of the building depicted the mythological Phoenix and Ganymede sitting on its wing. It is currently on display in the gardens around the Mutua Madrileña building, Paseo de la Castellana nr 33.

Original statue, symbol of 'La Unión y el Fenix'

Restoration

Metrópolis Seguros put a great deal of effort restoring the building. They understood that it was one of Madrid's landmark and should be maintained. This went in a few steps but works started right after Metrópolis Seguros bought the building.

In 1988 the facade was fully cleaned, together with the roof, basements and central courtyard. In November 1995 the delicate task of restoring the windows of the main staircase were done by the original artists, Maurnejean Vidrieras Artisticas and Antonio Herraiz, SA, retaining their original appearance.[1]

End of 1996 the most important work was carried out, which restored the entire facade, with focus on the sculptures which were heavily damaged by environmental pollution and pigeons.[1]

Architecture

Jules and Raymond Février used for the Metrópolis Building a french, romanesque style, which was not common at the time.

The ground level is topped by ornate colonnaded upper floors. The columns support 4 statues representing Mining, Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, made by Saint Marceaux and L. Lambert. At the foot of the dome you'll find a statue sculpted by D. Mariano Benlliure.

The rounded tower is covered with 30000 leaves of 24 Carat gold.[1]

Construction

  • Height: 45 m (147,6 ft)[1]
  • Floors: 6 for offices; 2 basement floors[1]

Notes

  • Most information comes from Spanish texts. Please correct where necessary.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l History of Edificio Metrópolis (Spanish)
  2. ^ Mentioned on sign on the building..

External links

Coordinates: 40°25′08″N 3°41′50″W / 40.41889°N 3.69722°W / 40.41889; -3.69722








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