Palacio de Longoria
(Palace of Longoria)
While I was walking through one of Madrid’s northern neighborhoods, wandering through the streets, looking for a building that doesn’t exist anymore, I stumbled upon one of Madrid’s few, completely art nouveau buildings. Art Nouveau has got to be one of my very favorite artistic styles, and this building is on ART NOUVEAU STEROIDS. The architectural detail on the outside of the building is so extremely pronounced and bold, that it feels like the facade of an amusement park building.
The palace was built by the financier Javier González Longoria as a family home and to house the offices of his banking business. The building is notable for its luxurious, highly ornamental external appearance, very much in line with art nouveau taste. The most important new feature of this building was the treatment given to the façade, executed in artificial stone with smooth vegetable and organic forms that give a sense of spatial continuity to the surfaces, using interlinked decorative elements that cover them completely. The building is topped by an impressive iron and glass dome. Inside the building, the main staircase is a particularly striking feature. An imperial staircase with a circular outline, it takes its inspiration from French art nouveau architecture, like the rest of the décor.
The building is now the headquarters of the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers, in the Malasaña district. The Society is an institution whose function is to defend writers and publishers by overseeing the rights for the reproduction, distribution and public transmission of literary, musical, theatrical, cinematographical and audiovisual works.
After finding the building, I tried to find more information online and was amazed that the building isn’t on any tourism sites, nor is it offered as part of any packaged tours of the city. Then I found out that for-profit tours are not welcome in the building, so there are no tourism companies that can offer the location. BUT, they welcome individual and not-for-profit groups for free tours, though you do have to arrange this in advance. WELL WORTH IT!
You can find a slideshow of images of the building HERE.
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