With the termination of Rafael Moneo’s project around the area of the Church of the Jerónimos, the Museo del Prado has completed the most important extension to its building in its almost 200 years of history. This project, which includes the creation of new exhibition galleries and the restoration of the former Jerónimos Cloister, is part of an ongoing expansion project that involves the incorporation of various nearby buildings into the Prado, including the Casón and the Salón de Reinos, the last surviving remains of the Buen Retiro Palace. When completed, the Prado will constitute a unique museum campus that will enormously increase the already outstanding cultural facilities to be found in one of the most important art and cultural districts in the world, known as the “Paseo del Prado” and located in the Spanish capital.
The Museum is now celebrating the conclusion of an important phase in the creation of the new Museo del Prado Campus, involving the extension of the Museum’s main building into the area of the Jerónimos Cloister, in accordance with the architect Rafael Moneo’s project. Following two architectural competitions, Moneo’s project was chosen for the design of the Museum’s new extension in 1998. Work began in February 2002 under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.
The new building incorporates more than 22,000 square metres of surface area (an increase of more than 50% on the existing size) and will allow the various visitor facilities and other aspects relating to the display and conservation of the collections to be arranged in a more ordered and spacious way.