La Casa Encendida, is an important social centre where you have art and culture as well as exhibitions, solidary activities, talks with debates and concerts. When this building was constructed, it was not focused on culture. However, nowadays it is considered a reference point regarding culture in Madrid. La Casa Encendida is another example of restoration where we can once again see the importance of recovering spaces which have fallen into disuse. We go back to our section “Restoring” where we have written about Escuelas Pías.
FROM A PAWNSHOP TO A MUNICIPAL ARTS CENTRE
The first thing that strikes you of La Casa Encendida, is the beautiful Neo-Mudejar style of the building (we have already mentioned the Neo-Mudejar style in Madrid in the blog of Estate One). This building was finished in 1913 and it is not only a listed building but it is also of historical and artistic value. It was built in order to house La Casa de Empeños y Monte de Piedad de Madrid (the Madrid Pawnshop).
The ground floor is rectangular in shape with a central courtyard. It is three storeys high and on the top floor it has a terrace roof. In the olden days all the offices and administrative units related to the Madrid Pawnshop, where located there. At present, all these places are used for exhibitions and cultural activities and this creates a very special atmosphere.
In 1999, the building was restored and the works lasted for three years, until it became what we now know as La Casa Encendida.
The structure and the aspect of the building were conserved. This was a fundamental issue in order to be able to enjoy its historical and artistic value. The contrast between the Neo-Mudejar style and the organization of cultural activities, contributed to create a special ambience.
Without having had to carry out many changes in the structure, La Casa Encendida offers a fresh and different space which makes people feel at home. The inside of the halls have not been decorated so as not to steal the spotlight from the works of art. The inside looks bare compared to the fancy façade.
The basement has an auditorium for 175 people as well as an audiovisual room which seats 72 people. It also has two exhibition halls. In summer, many concerts are organized in the courtyard which has a surface of 300 square metres. On the first floor, there is a library and a workplace as well as a reading room. On the second floor, there are more workplaces and workshops. On the top floor, the terrace roof houses a permanent exhibition of Urban Environment.
Picture 01: Daniel Huntley
Picture 02: losmininos
Picture 03: rdhox
Picture 04: Antonio Tajuelo
Picture 05: Rubén Vique
Picture 06: nvivos.es, 5gig
Picture 07: Carmen Voces