Culture

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Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport has been, for many years now, an important driving force behind cultural activities that use the airport installations themselves as their backdrop.

Temporary exhibitions

In order to encourage cultural growth as well as improve the quality of the service offered to airport users, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport has reserved a permanent area for displaying artwork, sculptures, photography, etc., in terminal T123. These exhibitions are for cultural and educational purposes only. They primarily support young or relatively unknown artists, and are never of a commercial nature.

If you are interested in exhibiting your work, please send your request, together with your CV and a sample of your work, to the following email address: gabinetedireccionmad@aena.es.

Art collection

Madrid offers a wide and varied range of cultural activities. The city boasts almost 80 museums, including the three making up the so-called Paseo del Arte: the Prado; the Thyssen-Bornemisza; and the Reina Sofía. However, the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport also holds a prominent position in this area, and an important sample of Madrid's cultural offering may be enjoyed within its facilities, through a selection of works from the Enaire Contemporary Art Collection. The pieces, curated by the Enaire Foundation, are a prime example of painting and sculpture from the second half of the 20th century. This permanent collection, located throughout the different terminals, allows travellers to learn about the works of important prestigious artists of international renown.

The great works on display at Madrid-Barajas Airport include two murals by Oswaldo Guayasamín (“Spain”, 1981, and “America”, 1982), located between Terminal T4 and the Terminal T4 satellite building. In Terminal T2, “Untitled” (1981), a mosaic measuring 100 square metres designed by Javier Clavo is on display, as well as murals by Antonio Clavé (“The cardinal point fighters”), Vaquero Turcios (“Roads through the air”, 1984) and the geometric piece by José María de Labra. These works have enhanced the check-in lobby since 1982. The mural by Javier de Juan entitled “The Journey” (2000) is also on display.

As for sculpture, the piece “The three ladies from Barajas” (2004) by Manolo Valdés is already a symbol of T4, as is the piece by Botero entitled “The Rape of Europa” is for T2. The “Three Ladies of Barajas“, located in the T4 check-in area, are three bronze busts, four-metres tall and three-metres wide on each side, known by the names of “The coquette”, “The realist” and “The dreamer”. They are placed a few metres apart and appear as if they are conversing. Each of them have an inscription of a text by Mario Vargas Llosa, written especially for the sculptures. The sculptures are in the artist' Valencian figurist style, influenced by classical artists such as Velázquez, Zurbarán and Matisse. Other remarkable sculptures include “Doves at flight” (1981), by Juan Haro, and “Lauda 1” (1981), by Pablo Palazuelo, which can also be found within the airport.

There is also a collection of mixed-media pieces featuring “Untitled” (1982), by Manuel Rivera, which is on display in the boarding area of Terminal T1. However, Madrid-Barajas airport does not only open its doors to the best international artists. The exhibition area located in the corridor providing access to Terminal T2 from the underground and car park P2 continually features more and more artists from the most varied artistic currents. This offers travellers the chance to discover the artists’ work in a unique and innovative setting, outside the habitual forums for exhibiting works of art.

The airport is also considered a work of art in itself.

In fact, the main artistic feature of the airport perhaps may not be its content but the building itself. Practically since its opening, Terminal T4 of Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, designed by the architects Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, has been recognised internationally as a work of art. Examples of these awards are the RIBA Stirling 2006 and the RIBA European Awards 2006, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects; the IStructurE Award for Commercial or Retail Structures 2006, from the Institution of Structural Engineers; the Award for Architecture and Town Planning from Madrid City Council; the International Architecture Awards 2007, awarded by the Chicago Athenaeum; and the award for Best Engineering Project 2005 given by the Spanish Engineering Institute.

Solidarity Area

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport has one space called Espacio Solidario (Solidarity Space) in T4 where NGOs and non-profit organisations and entities will be able to let passengers of this airport know about the work they are doing. The airport assigns this space to the applicant entity through the signing of a Contract for the Assignment of Public Airport Facilities to Entities of Interest

Interested entities should contact the Airport's Head Office ( secgabdirmad@aena.es) where the procedures to be followed will be explained to them.

Guided tours

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, through its Head Office, offers guided tours of its facilities for groups of school and university students and businesses, etc. The aim of these tours is to give anyone interested the opportunity to visit facilities and to better understand the activities that form part of airport operations.

The airport offers different types of visits devised for different sectors of the public.

Educational guided tours (for ages 6 and above) are aimed at schools, colleges, tourism schools, universities, cultural centres, associations, etc. The children's activities provided are based around teaching material developed by education professionals who assist the children during their class visit with their teachers.

Guided tours for adults are adapted to the participants' level of knowledge of the facilities' features and/or the relationship they have with the airport or aeronautical sector.

Guided tours for schools and colleges include a visit to Terminal 2, to an exhibition plane dealing with environmental issues and to other special facilities. These tours help visitors to learn about the way an airport operates and about the airport's environmental policy. Guided tours for tourism schools, flight attendants, universities and for different types of associations include a visit to the facilities in Terminal 4 - one of the most important terminals in the world and at the same time one of the most prominent buildings in the Community of Madrid. They can also visit the airport's environmental facilities, such as the exhibition plane and an environmental exhibition hall, among others.

The more technical guided tours depend on the knowledge that the visitors have about the facilities and/or their activity and they are carried out in Terminal 4 and/or in airport special facilities. Tours are organised for groups of 25-30 people maximum and are not available privately.

All tours are completely free of charge and last for approximately two hours, depending on the content of the tour.

 
Contact: Head Office
 
School visits
Telephone: 913 936 710
E-mail:expoambiente@aena.es
 
Technical tours
Telephone: 913 936 516/913 243 202.
E-mail:gabinetedireccionmad@aena.es