The Architectural recovery of the cloister and its return to public view
Following the restoration of the total of nearly 3,000 blocks and the start of work on the extension project, the Cloister was reassembled in exactly its original position. Enclosed within a concrete shell in order to be integrated into the new building designed by Rafael Moneo, it now comprises a key element of the Museum’s extension. The remodelling of the Cloister as part of the expansion has allowed this structure – defined as a “gallery that surrounds the main courtyard of a Church or Monastery” - to retain its particular character, given that it can once again be seen as an interior architectural element within a building. This is the case both from the interior of its courtyard and from the surrounding galleries created in the building that houses it, as well as to a partial degree from the exterior. The Cloister’s essential character has thus not been modified; on the contrary, it has regained the architectural meaning and significance that it had lacked since the demolition of the former monastery of which it originally formed a part.