Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tirso de Molina/ Cuatro caminos: Original underground stations on Madrid

We inaugurate this site with two details of an essential figure of Madrid, figure that will appear again in next deliveries, the architect Antonio Palacios who is undoubtedly one of the main creators of the urban image of Madrid

We refer in this occasion to the remains of two original stations of the opening of the Metro of Madrid in 1919, in particular the Tirso de Molina and Cuatro Caminos Stations. In both cases remains, in spite of the several refurbishs, part of the elements of the original stations.

Estación de Tirso de Molina / Tirso de Molina Station:

In this case we find the original handrail of entry and part of the main lobby.


The metro stations were designed one by one according to its situation. Three big types were projected: Main stations, with big templates including elevators (case of Sol and Red de San Luis), stations with granite balustrade and signpost announcer and the simplest ones with metallic handrails.
.Both stations previously referred are stations of the second case with a thick balustrade of polished granite and nowadays, unfortunately, with no post announcer which was beautifully decorated.Antonio Palacios designed a type of balustrade with little stylized and rectangular hollows very habitual in his buildings and with a strong expressionist influence and from the Viennese secession (Otto Wagner as main influencer). The rotundity, and in certain aspect rudeness how the granite is polished constitutes a point of strong esthetic personality.

Inside, we can see a rich variety of colors. The vault is covered of beveled white tile, with friezes of ceramics from Toledo, in golden reflex and copper. A shield of Madrid sticks out in the same line. It is a shame that there are no longer the original Ticket offices (we can see an example at the Chamberi Station, called today museum "Anden 0")

Estación de Cuatro caminos / Cuatro Caminos Station:

In this station we can also see another original balustrade although, unfortunately, no other original element remains.

The Metro of Madrid had a big personality from an architectural point of view, which is getting slightly lost in every refurbish. At the moment we have this small details left, in addition to the museum Anden 0 (nowadays Chamberí Station out of service).

For more information, we recommend the excellent catalog of Antonio Palacios exhibition realized by Circle of Bellas Artes in 2001. "Antonio Palacios: Constructor de Madrid" (“Madrid Builder”). Editions La librería
Texto: Álvaro Rey
Fotografías: Álvaro Rey /Manuel Rey