El Matadero and Mercado Municipal de Ganados 1 de Madrid, also known for its primordial use during its period of operation and for its location as Municipal Slaughterhouse of Legazpi 2 or Municipal Slaughterhouse of Arganzuela, was a set of forty-eight buildings dedicated to perform functions of industrial slaughterhouse and livestock market in the city of Madrid during the middle decades of the 20th century.
It was built on a plot of northwest-southeast orientation that was part of the meadow of Arganzuela . Initially, it was delimited by the Paseo de la Chopera, the Vado street of Santa Catalina, the canalization of the Manzanares river, and the Paseo de Santa María de la Cabeza, in the district of Arganzuela of Madrid. The land was twelve hectares of built-up area with several buildings and buildings of architectural neomudéjartypical of the industrial architecture of the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. It was built in the early twentieth century in an area then depopulated in Madrid in response to the needs of the growing population of the city and as a replacement for the old house-slaughterhouse of Puerta de Toledo.
Municipal architect Luis Bellido y González was responsible for the design of the Municipal Slaughterhouse on behalf of the city council of Madrid. The construction, which lasted between 1910 and 1925, was commissioned by engineer José Eugenio Ribera. The same Bellido, together with Francisco Javier Ferrero Llusiá, was responsible, between 1932 and 1933, for the construction of an additional building with the functions of a slaughterhouse for poultry and chickens.
The old Madrid slaughterhouse, a set of neo-Mudejar style pavilions, built at the beginning of the 20th century, is today a small city devoted to culture, where the visitor will find the following spaces:
Naves Matadero. International Living Arts Centre: A highly flexible theatrical complex which contains three independently functioning interconnected areas (a café-theatre, a large performance area, and a space for training, discussion, reflection and workshops).
Abierto X Obras: the old cold storage unit is now the setting for a range of artistic events.
Casa del Lector: a large cultural centre where readers and reading are the focus of attention.
Central de Diseño: located in unit 17 C. Supported by the Madrid City Council and DIMAD (Madrid Designers’ Association), its aim is the promotion and dissemination of design.
Cineteca: the country’s first and only cinema with a programme focusing on non-fiction.
Plaza y Calle Matadero: an outdoor multipurpose space devoted to a huge range of leisure and cultural activities.
Intermediae: an initiative of the Madrid City Council Arts Department, intended to provide a space for contemporary creative work and help develop contact between artists and the people of Madrid, with a view to finding and presenting alternative forms of expression, creation and thought.