El Greco congress center in Toledo, designed by Rafael Moneo
At the beginning it was an abandoned parking lot, then Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, with the help of Oliver Bieniussa, transformed it into the new congress center of Toledo, in homage to painter El Greco, who lived most of his life in the Castilian city.
The beauty of the project is that you can’t even see it from the outside. The urban horizon was left untouched by the architect from Tudela. The entire complex was dug in stone, on a relief that faces the Togo river and develops on 3 floors for an entire surface of almost 51000 square yards.
With a cost of more than € 50.000.000 – 2 times more than its initial budget – the center includes an auditorium with 1000 seating places and 7 other spaces (convention halls and a restaurant) with a total capacity of another 1500 people.
On the top, the roof of the building was converted into a public park, that thus gives the inhabitants of Toledo once again access to Paseo del Miradero, between the antique walls of the citadel.
The topography of the site and its natural characteristics allowed the entrance and exit of the parking lot to be located at the lowest level. The actual structure can be accessed from the historic center, thanks to an extended system of escalators that spare you a 33 yard uphill hike. In short, El Greco congress center proves itself a new gateway, both cultural and infrastructural, to the city of Toledo.
Photos via pctoledo.es
interview with the designers of Autoban