Apple is building a new store in Madrid right on top of 15th-century hospital ruins, and it's doing so with the local government's blessing. While constructing a basement for the new Apple Store, workers discovered deteriorated walls that served as the foundation of the Buen Sucesco hospital, which was demolished in 1854, according to a report from El País. But rather than halt construction and bring in a team of archeologists to survey the ruins, city officials came up with a plan that allows the store's buildout to continue.
In 2009, during the construction of a light rail station next door to the Apple Store site, developers unearthed foundational ruins of the Buen Sucesco church — which was built in the early 1400's after the hospital was erected. Instead of removing the church ruins, or covering them up, they were left standing. The church ruins
The ruins will be protected, but out of sight currently sit behind glass in the light rail station, allowing them to remain visible to commuters and onlookers. But the Buen Sucesco hospital ruins at the Apple Store site won't end up available for public view like the church ruins next door. However, they will be protected, El País said. Jaime Ignacio Muñoz, who directs Madrid's heritage department, said in the report that the city has directed Apple to cover the hospital ruins and then build its store floor over the top of the ruins — essentially leaving the ruins out of sight, in the basement. In addition, the city is directing Apple to trace an outline into the store floor to show where the ruin walls are located below, Muñoz said.
Originally, the city was considering ordering Apple to build glass panels into the floor that would allow shoppers to see the ruins beneath them, but it dismissed that idea due to a "lack of great interest from a visual point of view," Muñoz said. "It's just foundations. The information that they suggest about the shape of the walls is more important." El País said the new Apple Store will be open in time for Christmas.