Spanish news site El País reports that what remains of a 15th Century hospital wall have been uncovered in what will become the basement of Apple’s new flagship store in Madrid, expected to open by the end of the year. The 6000-square metre store will be Apple’s 11th store in Spain, and its fourth in the capital, Madrid.
The technology giant’s renovation of the building located at number 1, Puerta del Sol — formerly the Paris Hotel — led to the discovery of the outer walls of the Buen Suceso hospital, next to the church of the same name. Both buildings were demolished in 1854 to make room for the square.
The remains of the church were initially discovered during the construction of the new Sol Metro and Cercanías light rail station in June 2009, halting the project for 10 months. The ruins were subsequently preserved in the mezzanine of the station, sheltered behind glass partitions.
The permit to develop the site was issued in the knowledge that further ruins might be discovered.
Apple is said to have considered installing a section of glass floor to allow the ruins to be viewed in a similar manner to the rail station…but decided against it given the lack of visual interest. Instead, Apple has been asked to change the design of the flooring to “symbolically trace the outline” of the walls.
Apple’s retail stores are of huge importance to the company, both financially and experientially. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently spoke to retail store leaders for around three hours, reportedly stating “Apple Retail is the face of Apple.”