Towers 2- Santa Ana

Le Corbusier often mentioned ships as inspirational elements for his architecture. When I go through the Plaza de Santa Ana, I often think of ships, but with different references; the Me Hotel Madrid tower, dating from the begining of the XXth century and refurbished in 2006, makes me think of the new approach to antenna mast design in military ships, and specifically of the british Type 45 destroyer…

A British Type 45 destroyer

Towers 1- Círculo

The Circulo de Bellas Artes (Circle of Fine Arts) is a private cultural entity created in Madrid in 1880. Its current headquaters on calle de Alcala 42 was opened to the public in 1926. The project by architect Antonio Palacios is quite clearly different from what was then the architectural avant garde in Europe (Mies Van der Rohe or Le Corbusier are miles away…), but it is the kind of building whose singular personality make it a landmark; it has a quite complex cross section, due to its singular use, and its tower is quite visible (indeed, this is the only real role it has…)

Círculo de Bellas Artes. Cross Section

On top of the building the tower rises over an open air platform that can be visited (if you want to get a good view over the roofs of central Madrid, it is a must…). The tower is just an ornamental element, but its proportion and design make for an interesting presence in the skyline.

The Circulo de Bellas Artes as seen from calle de San Agustín. The Congress can be seen on the lower part of the image.