Madrid’s iconography is strictly prewar. Between the gratuitous ornamentation dripping from the buildings lining Gran Via and the interiors of crowded tapas, the city centre appears decked out in full late-19th century regalia, fit for admirers of coattails and opera gloves. Tread out along the boulevards bursting from the city’s heart, however, and Madrid’s palette of pale yellows and burnt ochres takes on a slightly different form.
In ways, the commercial outskirts of Madrid reprise a sort of cityscape that’s as rare in Europe as it is fatiguingly common elsewhere. Black-ribboned towers wrapped in shades of brown and black will slump along streets that gape by whim, rather than necessity. The packs of pedestrians thin out. Walk along the arteries feeding the gargantuan Avenida de la Castellada, drown out the cheers from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and one is in downtown Denver.
Tags: Architecture, Exploring the City, Madrid, Modernism, Spain