Casa del Reloj: a house of culture

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture

Casa del Reloj is located in the neighbourhood of Arganzuela. It is a cultural centre that offers exhibitions as well as cultural activities for the people of Madrid. This centre is very close to Matadero de Arganzuela, a place about which we wrote, some time ago, in our blog. It must be pointed out that, originally, Casa del Reloj was part of the building complex that composed Matadero de Madrid. Nowadays, this place is a reference point in the capital city for events related to art and culture. In addition, it is also an example of how it is possible to renovate a space which was out of use and bring it to life as well as providing a service to the citizens.

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture
Casa del Reloj, in the neighbourhood of Arganzuela

We can say, without fear of error, that in the area of Legazpi there is a before and after since the Matadero complex was renovated. Some time ago, we inaugurated our section Restoring is Living with an article about Matadero de Arganzuela and today we return to a place which is very near and practically next to Matadero. Our last article in this section of the blog was about Fundación Carlos de Amberes. Do you wish to join us and visit Casa del Reloj?

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture
Casa del Reloj is a building that is completely dedicated to art and culture


The construction of Matadero de Madrid was finished in 1925, and after decades of activity it ended up being abandoned, in 1980, due to its deterioration. As the years went by, as we will now see, all the southern part of the building was restored in order to house cultural and artistic activities. Casa del Reloj is located there in the very heart of the area of Arganzuela, in 6-10, Paseo de la Chopera.

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture
Lonja de Arganzuela in Casa del Reloj

The current premises of Casa del Reloj used to be the former Pabellón de Servicios Centrales del Matadero and Mercado Municipal de Ganados of Madrid, being in those days an administration building that articulated the whole Matadero complex. In the 80´´´ s, the building was turned into the central office of the municipal board of Arganzuela. Then, the lairage and calf sales unit was transformed into a space where cultural activities took place. Therefore, we can say that the resoration of Casa del Reloj started in the 80´´´ s.

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture
Exhibition of commercial graphics heritage

In this restoration, bricks, masonry and ceramics were used as well as different metallic elements. Also, a glass ceiling was set up so as to allow the passage of natural light. Later on, in the 90´´´ s, what used to be the the cattle barns were turned into the venue of Ballet Nacional de España and of Compañía Nacional de Danza. In 1996, all the activities related to the former slaughterhouse were closed down in order to dedicate this space exclusively to social and cultural activities. In 2005, its use as a centre for culture increased 75% and it also became a support centre for artistic creation.

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture
From the 80´´ s onward, the interior of the building started to be renovated


Centro Cultural Casa del Reloj consists of Auditorio Nuevas Dependencias (an enormous conference hall with a capacity to hold 265 people), two exhibition halls (Lonja de Arganzuela and Nave de Terneras) as well as 14 training rooms and a cafeteria. All kinds of exhibitions, theatre performances, dancing, artistic performances, workshops and concerts take place in Casa del Reloj.

Casa del Reloj: a house of culture
Entrance to the building Nave de Terneras


The old slaughterhouse had more than 165.000 square metres and it consisted of a building complex with 48 blocks. This place functioned as a slaughterhouse during more than sixty years.

Picture 01: Luis García

Picture 02: Tamorlán

Pictures 03 and 04: Diario de Madrid

Picture 05: Ayuntamiento de Madrid

Picture 06: Tamorlán

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