Discover the most modern side of inland Spain
These are groundbreaking architectural achievements, examples of innovation and creativity that stand alongside Spain’s traditional heritage buildings, such as cathedrals and castles. Come and see what you can find in the inland regions of Spain - and not just in Madrid. Cities like Zaragoza, León, Burgos, and Mérida are home to spaces of real architectural originality.
Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid
It’s impossible to picture the Madrid skyline without these imposing towers: Torre Foster (the tallest building in Spain), Torre PwC, Torre de Cristal, and Torre Espacio, all over 200 metres tall. The whole complex draws the eye inexorably upwards.
Nouvel Building, the Reina Sofía National Art Museum
The museum’s latest extension is a striking contrast with the main building, an 18th-century Neoclassical former hospital. Jean Nouvel’s creation is whole-heartedly contemporary, using reflective fibreglass in dramatic red on the façade for a considerable visual impact. It houses many of the temporary exhibitions, a library and the museum café-restaurant.
An example of conversion and adaptation of a space. This cultural centre was once the Mediodía Power Station, and today its striking architecture presents a space full of light and conceived for creativity. The first thing to catch the eye is the vertical garden by the entrance. The building appears like a dislocated landscape with mountains for a roof. Inside, its central staircase probably attracts the attention most. On Madrid’s Paseo del Arte, a visit is essential.
The Bridge Pavilion and the Water Tower in Zaragoza
A bridge in the shape of a gladiola and an original, 76-metre-high tower are the two most spectacular examples remaining from the Expo 2008 in a city that was transformed forever. An area that is also home to the Aquarium River of Zaragoza and the Luis Buñuel Water Park.
León Museum of Contemporary Art (MUSAC)
A colourful mosaic welcomes visitors to the Castilla y León Museum of Contemporary Art (MUSAC), which was constructed with concrete walls and 3,351 glass panels. It was conceived by Spanish architects Tuñon and Mansilla. It is a type of “contemporary cathedral” which is defined as an open space for reflection.
Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos
Paradoxically, the city of Burgos has chosen to show visitors the origins of man in a modern building. Architect and painter Juan Navarro Baldeweg conceived of the building as a reproduction of the Atapuerca Mountains (one of the most important Prehistoric archaeological sites in the world) in the city. It is a large box of light that also serves as a viewing point of the historic centre.
Factoría Joven, Mérida (Extremadura)
Can you combine a skate park, a gallery space and a climbing wall? You can if the architecture is innovative enough. This space was conceived as a leisure area for young people in the city of Mérida using independent, movable modules which multiply the options. The use of polycarbonate, the translucent roof and bright colours emphasise the originality of the space.
Hotel Aire de Bardenas, Navarre
One of those special places to stay where the connection to nature is taken to the maximum. This one is in the middle of the desert of Las Bardenas Reales Natural Park. Its rooms are small wooden cubes with picture windows and bubbles of air which let guests sleep under the stars. No noise, no distractions and very stylish.
You can read about other examples in our brochure of contemporary architecture in Spain.