Client: Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Status: Competition (2017)
Clasification: 2 prize
Location: Madrid, Spain
Coordinates: 40.437931, -3.639038
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Budget: 1.950.000 €
Types: Public space, Square
This proposal focuses in generating a new center for civic activity in Plaza de los Misterios. The intervention brings value to the existing narrative of the place in order to make out of it a new sign of identity for its surroundings. New highly flexible spaces are proposed, with special emphasis on thermal optimization. Other areas are intended to host public events of all natures and scales. With these aims, the project takes as a starting point the history and character of the original Linear City plan by urban designer Arturo Soria. This local initiative was one of the most important European urban experiences in the first half of the 20th Century. Some other initial considerations for the project include the current urban condition of the site, the future improvements planned by the Municipality, and climate conditioning by means of passive strategies.
The intersection of two mayor green arteries on Calle Alcalá and Calle Arturo Soria makes the location of Plaza de los Misterios an ideal setting for meeting and social interaction. This proposal focuses on building the optimal frame for any potential civic activity. The projected interventions aim to provide high flexibility of use and, above all, climate conditioning through passive means. These strategies will optimize the climatic and programmatic performance of the square, while translating into energetic savings by means of rainwater and solar energy collection.
The morphology of the intervention is structured by an orthogonal grid based on the original ordinances of Arturo Soria’s Linear City, which is reinterpreted as a garden formed by trees and water canals. This public garden offers the setting for civic activity and leisure. A wide central clearing is reserved for activities with higher turnouts. The perimeter of the square is redesigned as a continuous canopy that absorbs existing uses of gas station, subway access, etc.; as well as newly planned uses like restrooms and storage. It also serves as a covered ambulatory, offering outdoor seating for bars and restaurants around the square.