Last week the Queen of Spain, Doña Sofía, opened the new extensions of the Museo Reina Sofía. The project, which was designed by architect Jean Nouvel cost 90 million Euros and has added an extra 55% to the size of the museum. The Museo Reina Sofía forms part of Madrid’s Golden Triangle (the others being the Museo Thysssen and the Prado) and houses some of the most important modernist art in the world – Picasso’s famous painting "Guernica" is permanently exhibited here.
The Reina Sofía Museum now features two buildings: the old Sabatini building and the new Nouvel extension – making it one of the largest modern art museums in the world. Jean Nouvel has created 3 buildings – a temporary exhibition hall, a library, an auditorium and a restaurant – which are all contained under one huge canopy. The library currently has 100,000 books and can house up to 200,000, whilst the auditorium can seat up to 450 people.
The restaurant, called Arola, comes under the direction of Michelin 2-star chef Sergi Arola. Arola, who spent some 6 years at Ferrán Adrià’s restaurant El Bulli (recently nominated #2 restaurant in the world), has split the eating area into 3 sections: a bar, café and restaurant; he would like to make sure that Arola is cheap and chic!