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Los textiles son una parte fundamental en la decoración, predominando el terciopelo y la piel. Textiles are a fundamental part of the decoration, predominantly in velvet and leather. Neo-Renaissance luxury comes to Madrid 27 In the historical centre of Madrid stands the new Hotel Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, located next to the Palacio de Oriente and the Teatro Real. A result of the restoration of the Hotel Ambassador which was itself a well-known friend in the capital, this new 5-star hotel received the support of the Government Agency of the Patrimonio Nacional. The architect Alvaro Sans was responsible for carrying out the complete renovation of this Hotel and has managed to recreate a contemporary building, without losing the spirit of the original neorenaissance nature of the building. For her part, the architect Adriana Sans led the Interior Design Project taking as a backcloth the work of Velázquez, the painter. The contrast between the classic and the contemporary marks the entire decoration, in which ‘Las Meninas’, ‘Las Hilanderas’ and ‘La Venus del espejo’ co-exist alongside the avant-guard brandmarks of international players such as Andreu World, Santa & Cole, Vibia and Kettal. “This project has been a major challenge because of the historical importance of the place and the architectural quality of the building which needed to be restored, “explains Álvaro Sans. The origin of the Palace goes back to the year of 1212, when in the same site the Convent of Santo Domingo was built, an exceptional place where later Juan de Herrera, author of the Monastery of El Escorial, would play a role. A Thorough Reform Once the Convent was demolished, the Palace of the Duke of Granada and Ega was built in the 14th Century following the neo-classical style of the time, which evokes ornamental elements of the Renaissance and Baroque. Thus, the facade of the Palace refers directly to the Palazzo de la Cancelleria in Rome, as reflected by its ornamentation and the arrangement and rhythm of the pilasters in addition to the cushioning. “Unfortunately, the interior of the Palace was lost with an unfortunate reform that turned it into hotel in 1980 and which destroyed all its interior “, says the architect. To absorb this architectural style from Rome, Álvaro Sans visited the Palazzo de la Cancelleria and the buildings that had inspired the architect of the ori-


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