On the occasion of the Madrid Design Festival, the exhibition 'From Spain With Design' is an opportunity to discover the ever-present beauty of a space that is a symbol of urban regeneration

Together with the La Friche Belle de Mai Cultural Center, in Marseille, Matadero Madrid is considered the < strong>symbol of urban regeneration: inaugurated in 2006, it retains the unmistakable features of a former slaughterhouse.

Built at the beginning of the 20th century on the banks of the Manzanares river, in perfect neomudejar style, it was reborn about twenty years ago to transform itself into a citadel of culture.

Much more than a traditional cultural center, the Matadero is a body that allows itself to be crossed by bodies, many and of all ages, as well as by disciplines, many and of all types of knowledge. To then return the contaminations as a new culture, tailored and accessible.

From a livestock market to a cultural crossroads: this is an area of great architectural value to which the people of Madrid recognize a strong symbolic value”, says the director José Luis Ramos Romo underlining the monumentality of the space.

“All the rooms of which it is made up are active and 100% dedicated to culture”, from the scenic space to the reader's home, from the film library to the contemporary production laboratories: every square meter has been reconverted and dedicated to the care of the different creative disciplines .

“Indoors and outdoors: Plaza Matadero is a multispace en plein air where cultural programming makes 'things' happen to engage, educate and entertain audiences of all ages”.

And then there are the artistic residences, the educational classrooms serving citizens, 'La Cantina', the 'Café Nave' and the 'Design Centre'.

It is here that, on the occasion of the seventh edition of the Madrid Design Festival 2024, 'From Spain With Design: Identity and Territory' was staged, the all-Spanish story of the contemporary project: protagonists in the raw rooms, the commitment of Lucas Munoz Munoz, already protagonist of the 'Mo de Movimiento' wave, with the B.A.R.E. lamps. from the Domestic Object collection.

A hymn to conscious reuse in the less ethical footsteps of Alvaro Catalan de Ocon who also made the history of Milan Design Week with his Pet Lamps. And then the young Livia De Prado, Paula Varela, Natasha Paris recently graduated with the Mesa Rubra table and Mayce studio, yet another delve into the world of light.

Risultato di traduzione
Organized by the Spanish Network of Design Associations (READ) in collaboration with the Association of Designers of Madrid (DIMAD) and sponsored by UDIT, University of Design, Innovation and Technology, the exhibition is an opportunity to understand the horizon towards which Spanish design is evolving, without excluding important witnesses such as Jorge Penades, Andreu Carulla and Gorca Olmo, is the soul of a highly subversive place (100 pieces on view until March 17). “This event is also an example of the institutional polyphony typical of the organization that runs the place.

All the scheduled activities, from performances to poetry readings, are in fact each coordinated by different bodies which converge here in the name of multidisciplinarity", in almost twenty years the Matadero has built a network of international connections of which it has become almost the spontaneously.

“Matadero Madrid is a space for conversation, a place that contributes to the renewal of ideas and artistic languages. It works like a radar: always on alert, it activates to react to social challenges.

Culture is an excellent antidote, perhaps the only one left, to trigger change", in short, here new forms of gentle revolution are experimented, starting from the examples of artists, writers, poets and performers.

An army of pacifists who ferry their audience from urban regeneration towards cultural rebirth. In the name of architecture.

“When the reconversion works began in 2005, the Matadero went from being an urban void, even before being a cultural centre, to becoming a research space,” recalls José Luis Ramos Romo. “A testing ground for urban planners and designers: here we tested how on the one hand to preserve the envelope (the shape of the buildings) and how on the other to imagine open and permeable spaces”, therefore easily reconvertible.

“This is how we managed to bring past and present together. And threw my heart further”, into the future to then contaminate many other spaces in the world, including Italian ones. From the Milan Base to the Manifattura Tabacchi of Florence to the Mattatoio of Rome, to name three well-known examples.

In fact, it is no coincidence that the interventions that have taken place on the Matadero Madrid have aroused great interest and received important recognitions such as the Mies van der Rohe award, the 2012 International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum of Architecture and Design, from the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and the International Urban Design and Landscape Award assigned by CICA, the International Committee of Architecture Critics as part of the 13th Buenos Aires Biennial.

“Ecology, childhood, citizens' participation in culture, cultural mediation, the right to the city are some of the themes that animate the Matadero's programs”, concludes the director. “Acollectively created and collectively attentive to social issues program”. People at the center of art and space. It's worth it.