Telefónica Building

Telefónica Building
Street view of the Telefónica Building from Red de San Luis Square
General information
TypeCommercial offices
LocationGran Via 28
CountryMadrid, Spain
Construction started1926
CompletedMarch 1929
Cost~32 million pesetas
Roof89 metres (292 ft)
Technical details
Floor count14
Design and construction
ArchitectIgnacio de Cárdenas

The Telefónica Building, in Spanish Edificio Telefónica, is a skyscraper in Madrid, Spain. It is located in Gran Via 28.[1]

Madrid - Gran Via 07 (Edificio Telefonica).jpg


The Telefónica Building was designed by Ignacio de Cárdenas, who conceived it after a previous study of Lewis S. Weeks in Manhattan. Even though the building is of American inspiration,[2] Cárdenas touch can be felt in its churrigueresque exterior ornamentation, a nod to Madrid Baroque architecture.

Its construction started in 1926 and it was fully completed in March 1929, despite opening its doors officially on 1 January 1930.[3] The workforce was composed of more than 1000 workers and the final cost added up to 32 million pesetas. It became one of the first skyscrapers in Europe.[4] It also held the Madrid height record by surpassing the Palacio de la Prensa, which it maintained until it was overtaken in 1953 by the Edificio España.[5]

During the Spanish Civil War it was used as an observatory by the Republican forces to watch the whereabouts of Francoist troops. This reason, and the fact of being the Office of Foreign Press, made it a target of bombings during the war. Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry sent their reports from inside the premises.[3][6]

Other Languages