Madruelo Museum in Cáceres
Francisco Mangado 

Madruelo Museum in Cáceres

Francisco Mangado 


The Government of Extremadura has announced that a scheme titled ‘Music and the Earth,’ submitted by the architecture firm Mangado y Asociados, has won the ideas competition for the construction, in the historical quarter of Cáceres, of a museum to harbor the Helena Folch-Rusiñol collection of musical instruments and ceramics. The building will rise on a plot in Madruelo where a rickety high school was torn down.

Chaired by Adela Rueda Márquez de la Plata, director-general of Libraries, Archives, and Cultural Heritage, the jury unanimously chose Mangado’s entry over four others shortlisted. According to the jury, it stood out for “the idea of materiality of the project, which relates music and ceramics with the material features of the place in which it is located, creating a set of spaces in line with the medieval and Renaissance corners that define the city of Cáceres.”

There is a base that becomes also a viewing point, and a series of concrete and ceramic volumes fragmented to address the scale of the surroundings as well as the downward-sloping topography. The uprightness of existing cypress trees nearby and of those to be planted within the museum complex strikes a contrast with the horizontality of the new volumes of texturized concrete.

The project is organized around two circuits, linking the highest point, where the public entrance is, to the lowest, where services and storage facilities are, along with the café and the ‘hanging garden,’ an open-air events venue. Courtyards connect the spaces and give continuity to the ground level. The roofs are also fragmented, letting light in. Along all the routes, natural light takes on a special value. For the galleries in which musical instruments will be displayed, the design will make light enter from openings around the perimeter, 40 centimeters above the floor, while the ceramics halls will get overhead lighting.