Located in the former Mercado Central de Frutas y Verduras de Legazpi dating from 1935 on the southern edge of the Madrid city center and in proximity of the river Manzanarre, the new cultural and mixed-use spot is a coexistence of new and regenerated buildings. . The aim of the new project is the rehabilitation of the urban and architectural quality of the existing building proposing new typologies and functions.
Starting from the morphological reflection on the building existing shape, an imponent open three-nave triangle surrounding an inner court, the project finds the opportunity to design a new open public piazza which unifies each part of the building, linking it to the river and the city.
Analysing the former market as a monument that concludes the Paseo de las Delicias, the main street which starts from Atocha station, the projects propose two new towers which reinforce the monumental role and experiment new typological possibilities.
As it is increasingly happening in the contemporary architectural scenario, the project is not a preservation project and not a new architecture. It is the coexistence of both which continuously beneficiate one of the other. It is an investigation about possibilities to test the boundaries which separate ancient and new architecture.
The proximity of the project to Matadero cultural center has suggested first the integration of new cultural spaces to the hub, defining a clear and consistent cultural district on the southern border of Madrid city center and, in particular, along Madrid Rio.
The refurbishment of the existing building proposes semi-public activities such as the new permanent home of the Museum of Cinema in Madrid, an independent public multiplex cinema, a new library, a new restaurant, a new cafe, public laboratories for the inhabitants of the district and residences for researchers.
The architectural design of the towers propose a new branch for municipal offices in the lowest; offices, residences, an auditorium and a restaurant in the tallest.
Moreover, the project is intended as an occasion to extend the landscape project of Madrid Rio and implement public spaces, sport facilities and green infrastructures in the southern part of the city, currently cut off by chaotic highway junctions.
The reduction of the infrastructural impact both along the river and in the proximity of the former market gives the possibility to redesign the river’s borders, giving continuity to Madrid Rio and including the peripheries in the successful transformation project of the city.
The projects considers the river as the natural limit of the southern part of the city-center and the reuse of the former marked of Legazpi as crucial in the development of the transformation of the city.
In those terms, the intervention is intended as strategical under the urban point of view and as experimental under the architectural one.