The ABC Foundation Museum in Madrid houses a collection of nearly 200,000 drawings by some 1,500 artists. Spanish architects Anguren & Gallegos repaired and renovated the clay-brick structure of the former brewery building, build in 1900, adding an underground exhibition room.

The focal point of the revamped facility is the new courtyard, which serves as e public entrance zone accessible from two streets. The most intriguing feature here is the paving solution - a spellbinding geometric tour de force with triangular, matt-polished aluminium tiles laid in a vibrant pattern. Some of the sharp-pointed triangles are made of matt glass.


Admitting daylight to the underground level, these “windows” already hint at the location of the main exhibition area. The smart paving is echoed by the new courtyard façade that clads the former industrial facility. This features the same aluminum tiles used for the paving. The cladding system incorporates glazed “holes” which open onto the indoor office and events areas. The ensemble of paving and façade frames a captivating new urban space that revels in the reinterpretation of horizontal elements in the vertical. However similar the two compositions may appear, the demands placed on their design differed enormously.


While the paving had to accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the key requirement of the facade was to weatherproof the historic structure. The 235 square meter facade tiles were elastically fixed to the existing structural fabric using the SikaTack panel system. The concealed bonding ensures that there is nothing to distract attention  from the bravura performance of the geometric tableau. The paving tiles with flush glass units were bonded and waterproofed with SikaBond®-T8. Here again, by remaining invisible, the fixing system in no way detracts from the appeal of the new civic space.