The Still Automatons of Teatro Albéniz - Atlas Obscura

The Still Automatons of Teatro Albéniz

Automatons that were once removed after one fell from the building. 


The Albéniz is one of the best-located theaters in Madrid, just a stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol. It was inaugurated in 1945, and is the creation of architects José Luis Durán and Rafael López. After decades of success, the theater had to close in 2008, only to reopen in 2022 as part of a complex. Manuel Ambrós joined the team of original architects to be in charge of the theater façade 

One of the most characteristic elements of the Albeniz is the 11 automatons. These human figures, which represent different artistic expressions, contained a mechanism that allowed them to move their arms. The wooden automatons by sculptor Ángel Ferrant were removed from the façade after one of them fell on a parked car, but now they are back where they once were. 

The 11 automatons were placed on the façade of the theater. The idea behind their placement was designed not to subtract light from the rooms of the Hotel Madrid that shares the upper part of the building with the old theater.

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