Venues | Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Hospital de San Carlos was founded in 18th century. Its current name is Francisco Sabatini (Palermo Italy, 1722 - Madrid 1797), who was the architect responsible for its construction. King Carlos III of Spain initiated the establishment of the hospital as part of his efforts to provide Madrid with the infrastructure needed for good hygiene and order. After a first phase of construction under Jose de Hermosilla's direction (Llerena Badajoz 1715 - Madrid 1776), Sabatini from the Bourbon Court of Naples completed the hospital using a sombre neoclassical design that was influenced by the Late Renaissance.
Although the monarch's death in 1788 meant the building was left unfinished, it began to function as a hospital shortly thereafter, and continued to do so until 1965. Then, after some years of abandonment and various threats of demolition, the Spanish government declared it a Historical-Artistic Monument in 1977, which ensured its preservation and public use.
Antonio Fernandez Alba, Salamanca, 1927, renovated the building in 1980 to make it more suitable for exhibitions. It was first used as an art center for temporary exhibitions in 1986. The museum became a museum in 1990. The hospital's unfinished elements were used to modify the building. The outdoor space that was supposed to be a courtyard was made a public square. Calle Atocha is connected with the museum via Calle Atocha. The missing facade was replaced by two massive towers in steel-glass that house the exterior lifts. These towers were built by Jose Luis Iniguez de Onzono (Bilbao 1927) and Antonio Vazquez de Castro (1929) in collaboration to Ian Ritchie (Sussex 1947). They are one of the Museum's most prominent features.