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The ornamental art of Centro Canalejas Madrid

More than 16,700 elements found in the old group of seven buildings have been cataloged 

Centro Canalejas Madrid has been envisioned since the very start as an initiative where excellence is paramount, owing not only to the configuration of a singularly innovative project in Madrid or to its privileged location in the center of the city, but also to the care with which each and every one of its construction details has been designed. From the engineering perspective, Centro Canalejas Madrid is a highly complex construction project.  However, the aspect that sets this project apart is the demanding task of dismounting, cataloging, restoration and recovery of the unique elements existing in the buildings comprising it, that is, the most representative ornaments adorning the seven buildings that formerly comprised the “La Equitativa” block in downtown Madrid.

Restoration and cataloging

More than 16,700 elements from more than 300 categories have been accounted for, in the course of an effort that has proven to be laborious and often complex, due to the delicate condition in which they were found. Some pieces have required up to 4,000 hours of work. Of all of the representative elements that have been recovered, it is estimated that 3,500 are eligible for heritage protection in view of their special characteristics. More than half of these have already been restored.

The restoration and cataloging work for recovering these elements has involved an investment of more than five million euros. Some of these pieces have been dismounted and are being restored in specialized workshops. Others are protected in situ, such as the façades or the first bays. The elements recovered -some of which date back to more than a century- range from  woodwork, locksmithery, roofing, banisters and railings, lamps, fireplaces, marble pieces, stone mantels, among others, through to the turrets crowning the façades.