Sunday, May 19, 2013

Coppel Watches Madrid

The old Coppel Clock Shop was sited in number 25 and 27 of Fuencarral Street,  (later became number 15 after Gran Via Street was opened).

The 20s.  27 Fuencarral street (further 15 number)
It was a factory and watch shop founded in 1887 by Charles Coppe. A foreigner settled in Spain since 1879 (it seems it had german origin as it was in Geman where he coursed his engineering studies).
Coppel watches quickly became famous in Spain, being considered  as "the best mounted and most famous of Madrid". Specialized in wall and pocket clocks, owed his prestige to its affordable prices linked to a high quality. The production was under the leadership of a technical director of an important Swiss Clock Marking and also Coppel offered a warrantee collecting  from his customers any watch that went wrong, without questioning its deterioration.
He had fifty-five employees, including spanish, german and french.

Its was a nice shop sited in Fuencarral street, in which facade was hunging a fantastic clock described as "wonderful work of mechanics built in their shops". He exhibited in his shop an average of more than four thousand watches that were constantly renewed. Coppel began with his factory at number 25 but such was the demand that he had to expand to number 25 and 27 for storage and exhibition.
In the 20s, Coppel release Press advertisements announcing its Fuencarral 15 shop (before 25-27 and now disappeared), Mayor 6 (after that was Busian Jewellery and Padilla Perfume) and in the 50s, also Gran Via ground floor (Av. José Antonio 55, disappeared). In the 60s refurbishes the local in Fuencarral street with a radical aesthetic change in style. (See HISTORY for ads at the end of this post)
The company remained as a family business through three generations. (grandparents, parents and grandchids), becaming a public limited company on March 12th, 1924.
Afterwards (and apparently by press advertisements) left  the manufacturing and commercialized  Swiss watch brands. It was spitted into Alfono Coppel in Mayor Street and Carlos Coppel in Fuencarral Street.
The 4th November 1997 it was presented the dissolution keeping the trademark registration.
For many establishments in Madrid, especially in the early twentieth century, Coppel supplied watches to decorate their premises. Some of them still remain. We will go trough this in next posts.

6 Mayor Street Nowadays
15 Fuencarral street nowadays

You can find below a Coppel History we have selected trough advertisements:
Thanks to ABC Newspapers Library. 

-8 junio 1910. ¡Gran Surtido!

-24 noviembre 1948. Tres Fechas memorables de Coppel

-21 julio 1953. Un señor Reloj

-8 de febrero del 1956 69 aniversario

-12 marzo de 1959. Alfonso Coppel y Carlos Coppel distribuidores CYMA

 -16 de noviembre de 1960 . REFORMA DE FUENCARRAL 15

-9 mayo de 1963- ¡BODAS DE PLATINO!

-31 diciembre 1965. Para las fiestas y los Reyes

-06 diciembre 1967. Últmos anuncios

For further information:
-Revista Mundo Nuevo. 21 de Agosto 1901. Número 398
-La ilustración Española y Americana nº XXIII

ABC Museum, Mahou Brewery, Chimneys and other things

Impacting contrast. From the latest to the oldest.

The ABC museum café generates confronted feelings.
Its architectural design with pop art reminiscences from the sixties similar to the space station from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey", highly contrasts with the old building Comendadoras Convent of Santiago", place where f.e. Velazquez, Quevedo where ordain "Santiago Orden" knights.

View from Museum Coffee shop, windows from the convent

 The cofee shop is a white walkway hanging from the Museum entrance courtyard

The museum is located in the building of the former brewery Mahou (1890). The entrance courtyard and inside the building was refurbished.
Outside, remains much of its original industrial aesthetic appearence.

Other part fron the building has been refurbished as apartments.

Entrance to the apartments .

This peculiar mixture of art museum, high tech cafe, nineteenth century brewery and medieval convent generates a unique space.
As a unknown and forgotten sculpture, the neighbourhood is decorated by the old chimney.

Houses and Chimney. On the righ we can see the convent

Church Convent Towers. At the back Montserrat Church Tower

The area is surrounded by tipical taverns. One of them is close to the old factory and is called "The Cangrejero". This tavern has the reputation for many years of having the longest beer coil from Madrid (180 meters and therefore, fresher beer). Also and as a myth maybe (or not) it was said that in the tavern was served the best Mahou beer from Madrid because of  having a pipe directly from the brewery.. The tavern founded in 1932 (unfortunately quite refurbished ) was frequented by José Ortega y Gasset as it is nearby the university .

The "Cangrejero"
All the surroundings are worth it to visit.

For more information:
-Museo ABC. Calle Amaniel nº 21.
-Tabernas y tapas en Madrid. Carlos Osorio. Ediciones La Libreria
-Guia de Arquitectura de Madrid. Tomo I. Coam.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Light in Padres Dominicos Church Madrid

The outer bricks and concrete from the San Pedro Martir Church of the convent Padres Dominicos, at km 7 of NI hides an incredible light and color space.
The bell tower of twisted metal invites to visit the church.

Inside has been designed on acoustic and spatial separation basis. The glass skylight behind the altar creates a unique atmosphere enveloping a place where there is only light and color.

The bricks, curved walls and concrete cylinders where beam light slip disconcert the visitor.

Built by architect Miguel Fisac ​​in 1955, windows of Jose Maria de Labra & Adolf Winterlich, and sculpture by Pablo Serrano (Christ hangs above the altar).
The dynamism in the atmosphere is marked by the sequence of colors, from the blue of the crystals to the white of the metal tubes. After the Choir, the red light gets mixed in a unreal way.

Definitely it is a place that invites you to reflect and where we can feel an "almost a material environmental movement".

For more information:

-Miguel Fisac:Formas de Arquitectura y arte. n13.monografico
-Francisco Arques Soler:Aprendiendo de Fisac.Meditaciones en torno a un trozo de aire humanizado".
-Madrid arquitctura. Edit Munilla-Leria
-Guia arquitectura Coam.Tomo 3, Periferia.
-Madrid 1920-1980. Ramon Guerra de la Vega.

Picture&Text: Álvaro Rey

Chapel Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Madrid

In Fuencarral Street corner to Augusto Figueroa, amongst shops, bars and crowd we can see a small brick building forgotten in the middle of the intense activity of the street.
Some neighbors stop for praying and other few to have a quick look. It is an ancient shrine.

It seems, according to some chronicles (Madoz), that was built in 1712 by Don Francisco de Felogan and Ponce de León, Navahermosa Marquis or, according to others (Peñasco y Carbonero) by La Torrecilla Marquis, who used to live in this place (both of them one side to  and the other in front of Mesoneros Romanos Street)
It was built to keep the image of the Virgen de la Soledad, which existed since ancient years under an arch and lit by a lantern. It used to be an image of great devotion to the locals.

The arch under which was the image could have been part of the stables of the house (of Torrecilla Marquis) than made corner to Fuencarral and Augusto Figueroa street previously named,  not by coincidence, Santa Maria’s Arch Street.

The shrine door is always closed, but you can see inside through the glass door. At night the image is lightened.
This is a simple brick and masonry building, with a large arch to Fuencarral street, an entry and a small window lintel .. The roof is topped by a wooden cornice typical of Madrid. The door and fittings are from the eighteenth century.

Inside you can see the picture of the Virgin (similar to the image of the painting of the Virgin of La Paloma) and a crucifix that seems to be from the seventeenth century Madrid School.
The image became popular because of the professed devotion and the many miracles attributed to it.
As it is indicated in the COAM Architecture Guide, the miracle is that this small historic shrine still exists.

For more Information:
 "El antiguo Madrid". Mesoneros Romanos. 1861.
"Iglesias de Madrid" Pedro F. Garcia Gutierrez / Agustín F. Martinez Carbajo edit: Avapies.
"Guia de Arquitectura Coam-tomo I". Edit. Coam

Text: Álvaro Rey
Pictures: Manuel Rey

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Madrid Metro Engines Building

The headquarters office of Madrid underground: Metro are placed in Cavanilles street, back to a large complex of buildings belonging to the first Metro infrastructure, from the 20s on twentieth century.

The popular Engines Building stands out (nowadays a part of “Anden Zero” museum that also includes Chamberi station included as a post in this blog) Estación de Chamberi.
Antonio Palacios took charge of the building set design, consisting of the power station from line 1, warehouses, underground tanks, cooling tower, offices and chief engineer Villa..
Old Metro Headoffices building
The Engines Bulding has inside a powerful ship diesel engines built by the Sulzer factory in Switzerland (second hand bought in Germany) and transformers, with all the machinery and installation in perfect condition, that used to generate electricity, transformed and drove to the nearby subway tunnels, thus entering the service circuit Electric Range. It is a particularly interesting experience for engineers or interested in mechanical issues, as in the premises are great explanatory videos.

Electric Generator

Generators Set

All framed in a simple and functional spacecraft, but with the unmistakable mark of the architecture of Antonio Palacios: Windows, voids and volumes following the current Central European influences from the Viennese Secession, tiles, ceramic strips regionalist style....
Electric Generator and Scorecard
Metro's original symbol, scorecard and holes in Secession style.
Secession style windows
 Tools oil supplies, pipes, wrenches are mantained ....

 On the façade, brick walls and pilasters, with plinth masonry and metal cover.
Entrada a la Nave de Motores

Fuel tanks are buried.
Fuel Tanks

Another unique element of the building set is the house of the chief engineer, who continues with the european aesthetics of the time, expressionism and secession style that Palacios used to like, showing his great knowledge of style to asessing the volumes according to the plane from it is perceived and strongly influenced by Otto Wagner.
Chief engineer - Valderribas st. Façade

Lantern Entrance to Villa

In front of them, remain a very interesting semi-abandoned warehouses, flamenco style, with stepped gables and with one of the few outdoors original symbols that are preserved.

Gable stepped to flamenco and original symbol Metro

In Cavanilles Street it is annexed the current Metro’s building offices, which clearly breaks the aesthetic.
Metro Headquarters Cavanilles St.

The set is located between Cavanilles ,Valderribas and Sanchez Barcáiztegui street. The museum entrance is in 49 of Valderribas st.. The abandoned warehouses are opposite. 
Anden 0 Museum Enrance

For more information:
-Página web museo Anden 0

-90 años de metro en Madrid. Zamorano, Mohedas, Gallego, Bernal,Muñoz, Touzón,López. Ediciones La Libreria
-Antonio Palacios Constructor de Madrid. Catalogo Exposición Circulo de Bellas Artes
-Guia de arquitectura de Madrid.Tomo 2. Ensanches. Edita: Coam.
-Otto Wagner. Walter Zednicek
-Otto Wagner.edi: H.K.

Fotos y texto Álvaro Rey

Commercial Courtyards II- Gaviria Palace

At 9 Arenal street there is another commercial courtyard, in this case reconverted from the Casa Gaviria Marquis Palace.
In 1846-1851, Anibal Alvarez Bouquel design a Renaissance style Italian Palace.
The rooms used to receive light and ventilation of the inner courtyard, which was been transformed over the centuries by its different owners.

Glazed galleries were created and the distribution was changed to host small shops.
The courtyard is a rectangle, structured with three arches in the smaller side and four in the large one.
The gallery is closed with an iron railing and stained glass pattern of the late nineteenth century.

This gallery was used as circulation between rooms, the main staircase and the servants rooms. The building has had different usages: shops, clubs ...

Nowadays is almost forgotten except for a few gold pawn shops.

Arches Decoration

The courtyard can be visited during regular business hours. Its entrance is on the right of the stairs.

Arenal street façade

For more information:

-Guia de Aquitectura: Tomo I. Coam
-Palacios de Madrid: Tomo I. Ramón Guerra de la Vega