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King of Spain inaugurates ACCIONA-built Calatrava monument marking Caja Madrid tricentenary

12/28/2009

The architect’s first building in Madrid; built by ACCIONA Infrastructure.

The 93m-tall monument, erected by Caja Madrid, will be donated to the Spanish capital.

 

The architect’s first building in Madrid; built by ACCIONA Infrastructure.

The 93m-tall monument, erected by Caja Madrid, will be donated to the Spanish capital.

The official-opening ceremony was attended by Housing Minister, Beatriz Corredor; the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, and Caja Madrid Chairman Miguel Blesa.

His Majesty the King of Spain today declared officially open Caja Madrid savings bank’s tricentenary monument, designed by Santiago Calatrava and built by ACCIONA Infrastructure. This is the architect’s first project built in the Spanish capital and will be handed over by Caja Madrid to the City Council as a gift to the people of Madrid. The ceremony was attended by Spanish Housing Minister, Beatriz Corredor; the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, and Caja Madrid Chairman Miguel Blesa.

Located in Madrid’s prominent Plaza de Castilla square, along the city’s Paseo de la Castellana road artery, the Monument has already become a symbol of the Northern area of the capital. The 572 metric-ton structure is shaped like a giant steel and bronze cylinder stretching upwards 93 meters, with an internal diameter of two meters. Anchored on a steel tripod spanning the Castellana road tunnel, the base is a truncated cone that rises to a maximum height of six meters above the square. Renowned international architect Santiago Calatrava, who designed the Monument, describes it as "a meeting point between Architecture, Sculpture and Engineering".

An iconic newcomer to the Madrid skyline

The Caja Madrid Monument comes as a new and spectacular addition to the Madrid skyline. The central element of this structure is a vertical column made up of the abovementioned two-meter wide central cylinder, which is made from steel with thicknesses ranging from 80 millimeters at the base to 25 millimeters at the crown. The column supports 493 gilt-bronze sheets, referred to as "floating ribs". The 7.7-meter-long ribs are arranged in groups of 42 in twelve different sections and are connected at either end to the following set of ribs. Inside, the column houses a service stairway that runs the length of the tower, and the mechanism that makes the Monument rotate.

The outside surface, made up of the ribs, sways slightly and creates the optical illusion of an upward "wave" movement along the entire length of the column. The mechanical arrangement comprises 126 different hydraulic mechanisms providing an array of movements and rhythms. The Monument is also equipped with electrical and lighting installations, signal lights and movement motors.

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