1896-2016 Cines de Madrid
The project proposes an architectural archive of the cinemas of Madrid: a living archive understood as a productive space, hardly based on the historical preservation of certain buildings and the re-activation of their urban context as much as on the will to provide tools for architectural disruption within the city’s spaces dedicated to cinema.
My approach to architectural preservation begins on a thought on an urban, social level, regarding the cinemas of Madrid as a whole. I wanted to think of the city as a sort of living archive that works as a witness of its own’s inhabitants way of life. And as an archive, it is only truly alive when the elements it preserves have the ability to be apprehended by a user, giving it new meaning and purpose. Somehow these buildings -as objects- should be kept, but as social phenomena, they should also be accessed, activated, performed… My project brings up the necessary architectural conditions to bring these buildings back to life. Every case study is approached differently, according to the building’s current state and use.
The timber nickelodeon shack, the neighbourhood cinemas and second-run theatres, the Gran Via movie palace, the cinemathèque, the adult grindhouse, the suburbian multiplex: the main idea was to study each of the cinemas and their urban context and break down the key elements in the various cinema typologies in Madrid to rearrange them and recreate some of the architectural situations and urban relations that had taken place many years before.
A low- tech, ephemeral itinerant pavilion roaming the streets of Tetuán passes by a high-tech, futuristic livable façade grown on an existing building. The people living on the new 21st Century housing on top of the rental cinema spend the afternoon at the retail megachain flagship stores on Gran Via’s cinema palaces. The lonely cinema freak and office junkie meet at the 24/7 cinemathèque tunnel burger joint, while only next door, an adut film is shown on the inflatable sauna’s screens. Almost outside the city, suburban kids drive their bikes to the pop-up multiplex event for the grand release of an action movie.
Through plans, sections, maps and technical drawings I have tried to give Madrid’s cinemas a way of survival into the challenging future that awaits them; but I have also hoped to give the people of Madrid the tools for the transformation of the city’s spaces as they are today. An entrance to an architectural archive of their own.