VILLANUEVA HALL AT THE PRADO MUSEUM

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Location: Madrid (Spain)

Owner: Ministry of Culture

Type: Remodeling requiring the removal of columns to create an auditorium

Design: 1977

Construction: 1978

Scope of work: Conceptual design, construction design, technical assistance to construction management

Decription

This hall of modest size required complex structural work to be carried out in order to remove the central row of columns set bellow the Velazquez hall of the Prado museum. The object of the remodeling was to provide a small auditorium for museum conferences and meetings.

The refurbishment process had to ensure zero influence on the marble floor in the above Velazquez hall as well as on the public access to this hall and not to alter the museum’s calendar of visits.

The loads on these columns had to be transferred onto a substituting cross-beam system in such a way that the ideal displacements, which would appear at the moment the columns were cut, were absorbed by this system of cross-beams so that the upper slab wouldn’t undergo any displacement. Therefore, the jack-loading of the system had to go on until the dull sound produced when striking the metal parts of the columns, changed into a vibrating one, as this would undoubtedly indicate that the columns were totally unloaded and could be cut.

Technical specifications