The Coliseum: architectural fantasy, by Fernández-Shaw and Muguruza

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Casto Fernández-Shaw Iturralde, Pedro Muguruza Otaño.
Alberto Gonz lez Lapuente.
Museo Cerralbo. C/ Ventura Rodr guez, 17. 28008 Madrid, Spain.
Construction.- 1931 - 1933.
Exhibition.- January 26 to March 18, 2022.
From Tuesday to Saturday from 09:30 to 15:00. Thursday afternoon from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Exhibition Team
Documentation.- Alberto Honrado Pinilla.
Exhibition design.- Ruiz Ampuero Arquitectos.
Assembly.- Amar XXI.

Casto Fernández-Shaw Iturralde

Casto Fernández-Shaw Iturralde. (b. Madrid, April 13, 1896 – d. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, April 29, 1978). He is the son of the writer Carlos Fernández Shaw, who died in 1911. He entered the School of Architecture in 1913, finishing his degree at the age of twenty-three, in a class made up of seventeen architects. In 1917 he joined the studio of one of his professors, Antonio Palacios. With Palacios he will participate in the project for the headquarters of the Círculo de Bellas Artes. In the studio he would coincide with Pedro Muguruza, with whom he would partner to carry out the Coliseum Building on Madrid's Gran Vía. He will work with the Otamendi brothers, who included him in their Compañía Madrileña Urbanizadora, where he won a position as architect in collaboration with Julián Otamendi, on the project for one of the buildings on Reina Victoria avenue (Edificios Titanic, 1919-21) and on a neighborhood of hotels.

In 1920 he presented the Monument to Civilization Project at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid, achieving third place with a bronze medal.

Working with Carlos Otamendi, he would receive the commission for the El Salto dam in El Carpio, which was completed in 1922. In 1924 he was commissioned for the Alcalá del Río Dam and the Encinarejo Reservoir, and intervened in the architectural part of the Salto del Jándula. In 1925, at the Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, he was struck by the USSR Pavilion by the architect Konstantin Melnikov, an example of constructivist architecture.

In 1927, he joined the Board of the Central Society of Architects as an accountant; he projects the Ateneo Mercantil de Valencia, in collaboration with J.M. Castell, and the new church of Tetuán de las Victorias.

His most important early work is the Petróleos Porto Pí gas station, 4 at Calle de Alberto Aguilera núm 18 in 1927. He founded the magazine Cortijos y Rascacielos (1930-1954), which came to issue 80 issues in two stages interrupted by The spanish civil war. He is elected Vocal of Architecture of the Board of Directors of the Circle of Fine Arts of Madrid, in 1930.

He had a period of time in which he only dedicated himself to the construction of the Coliseum building on Madrid's Gran Vía (1930-1933), carried out in collaboration with Pedro Muguruza. Between 1934 and 1935 he carried out the Residential Building, on Menéndez Pelayo Avenue. After the Civil War he built different office and residential buildings, among which the façade of the Banco Hispano de Edificación on Gran Vía in Madrid (1943-44), and the San Fernando Market on Calle de Embajadores stand out.

He died in Madrid at the age of 83.

Pedro Muguruza Otaño

Pedro Muguruza Otaño. (1893-1952). Born in Madrid on May 25, 1893, his family came from Elgoibar (Gipuzkoa). He graduated as an architect from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid in 1916, where he coincidentally coincided with other future prominent architects such as Secundino Zuazo, Leopoldo Torres Balbás or Luis Gutiérrez Soto.

In 1917, shortly after graduating, Muguruza began working as a professor at the School of Architecture thanks to a proposal from Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, and in March 1920 he obtained the Chair of "Projects of Architectural and Ornamental Details".

Among the projects he carried out in the 1920s: the Estación de Francia in Barcelona (1923), the Palacio de la Prensa on Gran Vía (1924), the 40-meter-high monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Bilbao (topped by a sculpture by Lorenzo Coullaut Valera) or the housing project for the square by Rubén Darío (1929). He also led the restoration projects for the El Paular Monastery and the Prado Museum.

He projects, with Casto Fernández Shaw, the Coliseum Building on the Gran Vía in 1931 and is in charge of the reconstruction of the Lope de Vega House on Cervantes Street in 1932 and the following year he would carry out the reforms of the Ice Palace and the Automobile to convert it into the Center for Historical Studies. During that period he is the author of some markets, such as Santa María de las Cabezas (1933) or Maravillas (1935).

After the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936, Muguruza joined the Francoist side. The General Directorate of Architecture, which the Falange would take over, was under the direction of Pedro Muguruza, who maintained very good relations with the dictator. In June 1939 he presided over the Madrid Assembly of Architects, laying the ideological foundations for the architecture of the new regime. As Head of the Architecture Services of FET and of the JONS, he was responsible for the leadership of the General Directorate of Architecture, structured along totalitarian lines. Muguruza held the position from September 30, 1939 to March 8, 1946.

Muguruza was also, along with his disciple Diego Méndez, one of the two author architects of the Valley of the Fallen; the goal behind the design was for the site to become an eternal metaphor for the regime's ideology. He directed the construction works until 1949. He died on February 3, 1952 in Madrid.



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