Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura have won an international competition to upgrade and refurbish the Hall of Realms (Salón de Reinos) as a new addition to the Museo del Prado campus in Madrid, Spain.

Foster + Partners was chosen among eight shortlisted architects from four countries. The winning proposal, titled Hidden Design, creates a large entrance atrium on the south façade, making the space semi-open and permeable to the exterior but controlled sufficiently so that it protect the original façade of the Hall of Realms.

Over the top of this façade will be a large exhibition space on the third floor, which is higher and wider than the current design and it forms the roof of the atrium.

"The transformation and expansion of this historic hall will add significant new galleries and related public spaces to the Prado."

The new design also proposes a pedestrian section at the Retiro Park along the Paseo del Prado axis along calle Felipe IV to reinstate its connection with the city.

Foster + Partners' chairman and founder Lord Foster said: “The Hall of Realms, built by Crescenzi and Carbonel in the 1630s, is one of the very few remains of the former palace and predates the Museum, which was conceived in 1819.

“Two centuries later the transformation and expansion of this historic hall will add significant new galleries and related public spaces to the Prado. It will also create, as a setting, a new urban focus for the city of Madrid.”

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Image: Foster + Partners will refurbish Hall of Realms. Photo: courtesy of Foster + Partners.