Monday, April 17, 2006

Madrid Part III – Banco de Espana, The finishing touch

Prior to visiting Madrid I had always assumed that carved, stone ornamentation on a building was carved in the workshop then cemented into place. Not quite so - at least not in the case of the Banco de Espana. It looks like they block in the overall form then make it part of the building, carving it to its final form onsite. I guess it makes sense when you're dealing with forms that use more than one piece of stone.

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Overall view of new, unfinished facade

At first, because we approached the building from the end they were working on, I thought it some kind of modern, almost Art Deco, ornamentation. We soon figured out what was really going on. It’s one of the many things we saw over there that you certainly see don’t over here. Stone masonary is one of those ancient crafts practiced by few due to scant demand. With the way modern buildings are constructed and devoid of remarkable detailing, I expect that even over there such a sight isn’t exactly pedestrian.

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Detail views comparing new, unfinished additions with original stone work

This new addition to the building should replicate the stonework of the existing corner facade except it will have no clock (see Madrid Part I, Rule 3)

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Original corner facade

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