One of the new cultural institutions in Madrid is the Caixa Forum which was opened in 2007. While this is an art museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions, the main attraction is actually the building itself. It was designed by Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron, and consists of an old electrical station with a new extension on top.
At first sight the building looks interesting but at the same time quite simple and understated. The main exuberant element is a vertical garden by French landscape architect Patrick Blanc. The upper extension is covered in Corten steel and you can see some perforations at the topmost section of the steel plates.
On closer look, you realize that the old brick building actually "floats" and there is seemingly not much underneath to support it. This is visually intriguing and quite an engineering feat. The building literally sucks people into it under this covered plaza.
The building interior is quite minimalist and stark, with mainly stainless steel, concrete and timber as the main palette.
At the top of the building is a very beautiful restaurant where you can appreciate the beauty of the perforated steel facade that covers the extension. Herzog and de Meuron are masters at making raw materials sexy.