Norman Foster RA introduces the Museo del Prado extension

Published 27 June 2019

In this video, architect Norman Foster RA discusses the redevelopment of Madrid’s Museo del Prado and his practice’s unique take on the boundaries between the old and the new.

  • The building that we now know as the Museo del Prado has a rich history of re-invention. Originally designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785, it was first the home of the Natural History Cabinet before opening its doors as the Museo Nacional del Prado in 1819.

    In 2016, the museum ran a competition to restore and expand its historic Hall of Realms. The winning proposal by Foster + Partners aimed to reveal the memories buried within the existing building. Their project rediscovers the original 18th-century façade, creating spectacular indoor public spaces and finally opening the Prado to the city.

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    200 years of Museo del Prado

    In this event, recorded at the RA on 25 June 2019, Norman Foster RA celebrates the 200-year history behind Spain’s most important art museum and reveals more about the extension planned by Foster + Partners and Madrid studio Rubio Arquitectura.

    The Prado’s Hall of Realms is the latest in a long line of his projects that have breathed new life into historic buildings, starting with the Royal Academy’s own Sackler Wing of Galleries in 1991 and including the Great Court at the British Museum and the dome of the Reichstag building in Berlin.