Thinking and making
the new museum 

The concept of Collegium can be divided into two sources of impact: one as a structure and the other as a process. It opens the proposal for a museum complex that anticipates its own existence, making its construction a space for enjoyment, participation and criticism. As the architectural project is carried out, an extension of what is intended as a material institution, a virtual museum, will be made available on the internet broadening the possibility of access to the first exhibitions being held in the physical space.

By advancing its inauguration in a virtual way, the visit of a building still in process is possible. With this, it is intended to consider the impressions, criticisms and desires generated by the experience with the public, to integrate the feedback both in the construction of its structure and regulations and in the enrichment of the field of museological studies, from the analysis of the fructification and the social demands captured, until the registration of its relationship with the formation of the institution. It is a museum experience, an institution that is molded from the needs and expectations of those going to enjoy it.

After intense research and reflection, the city of Arévalo (Ávila - Castilla y León) was chosen to realize this ideal, thanks to the dense and strategic profile in its history and location. The city was the scene of the passage and integration of various peoples and cultures, where, at the end of the 16th century, the founding of one of the first Jesuit schools took place. Despite being a historical icon of education and research, the school is now in ruins, a very symbolic condition in evidence of the need for rescue action and local transformation. In this search, the first step was taken towards the construction of a complex to rescue, reflect on, celebrate, and safeguard the history and culture of the important province of Ávila, while also stimulating the production and dissemination of what is coming of it and enables links and exchange with the global context.

Collegium is launched as a field of permeability of time, pointing to the production of the 21st century by placing itself in the necessary reflection on the past and the present while drawing the future. Contemporary art is, by essence, a vehicle for reflection on the culture of the new millennium. Its interpretation requires consolidating the problematization related to time, space, and past movements, generating various reactions and social, political, and economic concerns, essential topics to think about and create new horizons. It longs for a critique that advances with its creation, leading to the emancipatory construction of subjectivities and the encounter and consolidation of identities, from an active and restless perspective, of thinking and knowing the world beyond the status-quo.

With an area of almost 15,000m², including 5,600m² of exhibition space, the development of ties with the region is launched from (i) the Curatorial Program; (ii) the Extended Program, which includes a 21st-century artistic research center, restaurant, artistic residencies, conferences and courses; and (iii) the Extended Experience, which will include cultural and architectural tours through the history of Arévalo, reviewing the interaction between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish culture, as well as a gastronomic ecosystem.

Collegium will not be limited to the visual arts. It will seek to register and stimulate all forms of knowledge and practices and create a means of intersection and exchange between different audiences, to build, from the union of multiple gnoses. This field reflects this diversity and enables the enjoyment of its protagonists at the same time. A non-normative, horizontal and permeable space for training and education is created, which blurs economic, generational, geographical, ethnic, racial, sex, or gender borders.

We invite and hope to include, through our different projects, the most varied groups, to generate a dialogue and social coexistence from the critical, the ludic, the functional, and the interactive. We aim to demonstrate to the public authorities the importance that the artistic and socio-cultural initiatives may have to contain and recover the depopulation that affects the area.

Thus, visits and coexistence are expected from the local population and worldwide since its position is strategic and easily accessible. Through the A-6 highway from the Arévalo station, the Madrid-Hendaye railway line is directly connected with key cities to generate macro-traffic of people, not only in the country but also in the European continent. It is worth mentioning that the Adolfo Suárez Airport (Madrid-Barajas) is the fourth largest in Europe. The route that connects it to the Barcelona Airport is the one with the largest in number of weekly flights worldwide.

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