Metropolis Building – Gran Via

Metropolis Building – Gran Via

If we walk down the Gran Via, to the Cibeles, on what is known as the first leg of the Gran Via, we arrive at the confluence of this avenue, with Alcalá Street.

At this point, we find the Metropolis building, as an important representative of the beginning of the works of refurbishment of the Gran Via.

The Metropolis building, was built between 1907 and 1911, under the design of French architects Jules and Raymond Fevrier, upon request of the insurance company, Unión y el Fenix Español.

It is designed with the style of French architecture called “Beaux Arts”, a neoclassical style of architecture that was taught in the School of Fine Arts in Paris.

The main features of Beaux Arts architecture, is its decoration with sculptures, which are imposed on modern conservative lines, thus combining, rococo and baroque forms, with a finish of impressionistic realism.

Edificio Metrópolis en la Gran Vía - Alcalá
Edificio Metrópolis en la Gran Vía – Alcalá

This Beaux-Arts style can be observed in this glittering facade decorated with statues, columns, and ornaments.

The statues resting on Corinthian columns, are allegorical representations of the economic sectors of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry and Mining.

Above these statues, the facade is ornamented with garlands and small foliate decoration. The building is topped by a magnificent black dome, accented with gold trim, as shown in the photographs.

The sculpture that currently crowns the building with the goddess Victoria, was changed at the beginning of the 1970s, when the Union y el Fenix, sold the building to a competitor, and decided to take the sculpture representing the company. The current sculpture of a Winged Victory, was made by Spanish sculptor, Federico Coullaut-Valera Mendigutia.

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