CentroCentro is located in one of Madrid's most iconic buildings, the Palacio de Cibeles, which was formerly known as the Telecommunications Palace. Today this historic building is replete with 21st century notions, a contemporary space of artistic and cultural production.
A century separates the two major architectural projects in the building's history. A city landmark and constant companion to the famous statue of the goddess Cybele, the palace was designed at the beginning of the 20th century as the headquarters of the National Postal Service. Architects Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi won the state-organised tender for the project in 1904 with an outstanding proposal that featured a traditional design with a modern edge. They designed an eminently functionalist building that would accentuate not only the importance of the services that were to be provided but also its enviable location: the former site of Buen Retiro Palace’s pleasure gardens, located at the junction of two of the city's main streets. Work on the building commenced at the end of 1907, and lasted 12 years. Encompassing an area of 12,207 m2 and built out of stone, iron and glass, the building was inaugurated on 14 March 1919.
Known at the time as Communications Cathedral, it marked a turning point in Madrid's town planning, coming to represent the embodiment of modernisation for a city in the midst of progress. For a hundred years it was the nerve centre of a powerful and effective communications system that covered all of Spain, bearing witness to history as countless letters, postcards, telegrams and telephone messages were sent from the building.
In 1993 the building was declared a Place of Cultural Interest in the category of Monuments.
A protocol of cooperation signed with what was then the Ministry of Finance declared it a Madrid municipal heritage site in 2003. This initiated a process of transformation that would eventually establish it as Madrid’s City Hall and a 21st century cultural centre for the capital’s inhabitants.