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Landscape intervention of the Madrid Metro Integral Transportation Center, in the old garages of Plaza Castilla

An intervention that gives value to railway infrastructures by turning them into a new garden for the city.

Jardí del complex Metro Madrid
Jardí del complex Metro Madrid

Garden of the Metro Madrid complex

The new CIT headquarters in Madrid is located on the plot where one of the obsolete Metro Madrid garages used to be located. It is a strategic point within the city due to its proximity to Plaza Castilla and Paseo de la Castellana and has the challenge of cross-linking the residential areas on both sides of Avenida Asturias and becoming a new pole of urban activity.

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran, Iván Sánchez Fabra – Architect

Team

Mercè Lorente i Gras – Architect / Joan Batlle Blay – Architect and landscape architect / Elisabeth Torregrosa Avilés – Building engineer / Dolors Feu – Agricultural engineer and landscape architect

Collaborators

UTE Jardín 1 – Architecture project authors, Valladares Ingeniería – Structural and MEP engineering, Arquitectura Jorge Carrión – Construction management, Architectural Green Method – Environmental consultancy

Promoter

Metro de Madrid

Construction company

Ferrovial Agroman

Project status

In progress

Start date

2011

Total area

18.140 m2
General plan of the landscape intervention.

Urban recycling

The project encompasses the design of all the public spaces of the plot, from the interior of the block, with the Garden and ending with the exterior space with the green ring that surrounds it. Both areas are proposed with the same finishing criteria, wrapping the garden to protect it and to give a common and relevant image of the whole.

With the Metro Garden proposal, an obsolete space in the city is recovered and opened to the citizens of the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as to users who will move to the new Metro headquarters. It is a new public space that revalues ​​the preexistence of the place to maintain its intrinsic railway identity, making known and dignifying this heritage inherent to the city and that had been forgotten. Thus, the new public space brings infrastructures closer to the public once again, through a quality, modern, ecological and transparent outdoor space.

Elements of Metro’s heritage are recovered and used and the railway space is re-naturalized to make it known and create a railway landscape atmosphere integrated into nature, evoking that lost paradise and again recovered by users. This rediscovered heritage strengthens the historical memory, the visibility of the entity and grants a new multifunctional space in the heart of Madrid. The Metro Garden becomes a space for dissemination, an extension of the museum itself and a reflection of Metro Madrid’s own values. This singular point in the history of the city will be conquered by the lush nature and will become part of the catalog of heritage elements of the company in Madrid and in the imagination of the citizens.

The project represents a new space for the dissemination of Metro Madrid. / © SBDA

The biophilic garden

The Metro garden is located inside the block and at a fixed elevation that reminds us of the plot’s railway past. The old track rails are kept in place throughout the level creating a railway pattern that orders the garden. The trusses, posts and wagons recovered from different garages in Madrid are arranged according to uses and vegetation. The garden is divided into the shrub layer and the tree layer, which are located around railway elements and buildings that will promote the contemplation of the landscape. An elevated platform, typical of all garages since it is from where the vehicles are inspected, will serve to contemplate the landscape, a perfect setting for the center of the garden, where the user forgets where he is and enjoys a romantic moment with the flora and the fauna around you. Water refreshes the environment, creates life and seeing it relaxes us, for this reason a Via Acequia is also incorporated. This constant sheet of water runs in the middle of the garden, following the tracks of the tracks and incorporating aquatic vegetation.

The garden is divided into different landscapes, which are adapted to the qualities of the space and the sunshine of each area and always following the railway structure of the rails. Starting from the northern strip, we find the green ditch, where very showy flowering bushes are planted inside the tracks and followed by the aromatic garden of smells. Both groups of shrubs enhance biodiversity and the presence of butterflies and insects. Between the world of shrubs and the world of the forest, we find the canal, with typical aquatic vegetation. The elevated walkway allows the generation of steps in the middle of the forest and a viewpoint within the garden itself. The stands are an amphitheater that can be used for private Metro events, as part of the outdoor museum and simply to read a book surrounded by greenery. The forest is located in the area closest to the CTA building. The planting of trees and shrubs is done between tracks and these are left free as small paths between undergrowth. A clearing is generated in the forest, forming a square that can incorporate a bar in an old train car that generates life and activity in the garden.

Trusses are placed around the bush world and are an opportunity for vegetation to grow and cover them, providing shady areas and filtering the air. In the forest area, trusses are only arranged in the middle of their length and without their secondary structure to allow the growth of the trees. These trusses and the catenary masts serve to support the recycled lighting of other garages and other facilities such as water diffusers to cool the environment in summer.

Vegetation is the protagonist in the gardens that make up the project. / © SBDA

A new cycle of water

The proposal proposes the introduction of various sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) as a measure of water retention at source in a way that allows the reduction of the flow of water that reaches the reservoir and consequently reduces its necessary retention volume. Apart from these hydraulic advantages, the introduction of these systems generates notable environmental improvements since they reduce the amount of contaminated water that reaches the treatment plants, minimizing the impervious areas, reducing the heat island effect, and improving its landscape quality. A new cycle of water is generated, from the greater number of draining pavement surfaces, its subsequent filtration in the flooded garden, its storage and its subsequent reuse for irrigation and leisure activities, thus obtaining a much more efficient management.

In the garden, a system of linear green gutters has been created that will collect surface water and lead it to gravel pits, where the water will be retained, infiltrated and laminated.

In the Metro walk around the plot, the water will be collected from a first interior strip, of cobblestone pavement, which will allow the water to infiltrate and thus give quality to the tree line; while the outer alignment and closer to the cars, will have a linear tree grate where all the surface water from the sidewalks will reach.

The green steps to access the garden will have vegetation and draining pavements to allow water infiltration and avoid overheating of the paved spaces.

A large raft is located in the center of the project. / © SBDA

A new green lung for the city

The project reaffirms the idea of environmentally collaborating with the user, METRO and the city itself. Generating a new public space with abundant vegetation in this part of the city, where the urban density is very high, will positively and directly influence the environmental quality of the area. It is about building a new green lung for the city, which will positively counteract all the asphalt, traffic and buildings around it.

Native tree and shrub species will be used that are able to regulate the humidity of the environment, store CO2 and oxygenate the air, generate shady spaces, purify rainwater and contribute biodiversity to the complex.

Sustainable mobility

Promote slow mobility systems, improving the quality of life of residents and reducing noise from road traffic and the pollution generated. Bicycle parking areas will be created to stimulate ecological transport by users of the garden and buildings. In addition, private vehicle parking spaces are eliminated to give priority to slow mobility and the green neighborhood.

These combined elements make up the character of the eco-neighborhood, and give a very powerful unitary image that highlights and highlights the image and involvement of Metro Madrid as a modern and environmentally conscious entity.

In this way, the main sustainability objectives have been met:

– Integration in the urban environment.
– Saving energy and material resources.
– The quality of life in terms of health, social well-being, and comfort.

© SBDA