The best example of Toledo’s Mudéjar palace architecture
The Archive of Simancas was begun by King Charles V, although it was his son, Phillip II, who ordered a building constructed to house the Archive and enacted a regulation concerning it. In 1572 he ordered Juan de Herrera to sketch what would become the modern era's first building constructed on purpose to house records, and in 1588 he signed a command that was considered the world's first regulation on archives.
From that time on, the archive received regular shipments of documents from the Spanish monarchy's central authorities, which were councils under the Hapsburgs (the 16th and 17th centuries) and secretariats under the Bourbons (18th century), although there were some exceptions. The archive's service to government administration ended in 1844 when, with the arrival of the liberal regime, Simancas was opened up to historical investigation. As of that date the General Archive of Simancas became a historical archive.
This really exceptional historical career has made the Archive of Simancas one of the most important archives in the world. The refurbishing work is designed to meet the challenge of today's digital filing media, which have got to be integrated with and used side-by-side with traditional media. And traditional records have not been rendered obsolete; on the contrary, they are now valued for their documentary virtues as well as their virtues of form.
The General Archive of Simancas has got a total floor area of 10,859.61 m2, of which 9,072.48 m2 belong to the archive building, while the other 1,787.13 belong to the annexe. The work FCC has done supplements the previous project, in which new documentary storage facilities were installed in the main building, and it focuses also on the rest of the archive, with a view to tying together the different activities so that a larger number of investigators can work, filing space can be enlarged and new-technology-capable infrastructure can be added.
A new building is being erected, the Promotion and Dissemination Building. It has been designed as a modern, permeable, open space, so that it can house all kinds of activities. It has got three floors. On the access floor is the area for artistic events, the picture gallery, offices, etcetera. On the first floor are the documentation room and the library.