O’Donnell Garden / Estudio Caballero Colón

© Miguel de Guzmán

Architects: Estudio Caballero Colón
Location: O´Donnell Street, ,
Directors in Charge: Paula Caballero and Diego Colón de Carvajal
Project Area: 1,028 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Miguel de Guzmán

site plan

At first, the assignment was the demolition of the cellars of the Madrid Regional Service of Health´s Old Building. However, the possibility of using this ground as a part of the nursing home “La Paz” led to the accomplishment of a small garden with the minimum possible elements and at a very low cost.

© Miguel de Guzmán

In our view, the garden, as nature manipulated by man, finds its beauty in a strange balance between the diffuse and diverse character of the nature, and the clearness and unity of the artifice. In designing the distribution of plants and paths, we looked for an intelligible organization in order to enhance that contrast. As a kind of enlarged graffitti, a series of blotches in different colors with winding shapes establishes in a clear way the three types of grounds: plantation, drainage and paths.


The plants were chosen in consideration of their strength (given the inclemencies of the weather and the urban contamination) and their low water consumption. For this reason our choice was: lavandula angustifolia, salvia officinalis, callistemon viminalis and festuca.

© Miguel de Guzmán

With the same purpose of fighting the deterioration of our natural enviroment, we tried to use as much as possible recycled materials. Thus, instead of the usual gravel under the reinforced concrete we used crushed recycled concrete; the necessary rugosity to prevent slippery surfaces when it rains was obtained by mixing the resin with recycled glass (which produces unexpected brightness and iridescence under the sunlight), and the dark gravel for drainage between the paths and plantation areas is crushed material of demolished roads.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "O’Donnell Garden / Estudio Caballero Colón" 23 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=69982>
  • masanchezl

    looks nice…there’s a lot of Burle Marx style on the landscape design

  • GLK

    Somebody tell these designers that people do not always assemble in groups of exactly two. But maybe it’s a moot point when the chairs are designed for aesthetic rather than ergonomic appeal.

  • Galaxian

    Amazing. But very hard for servicing.

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  • http://tchouah@hotmail.com Fran

    Burl Marx is not dead

  • lina

    Burle Marx is alive and I didn´t know…what a copycat

    • sandor

      Again the bullshit about copying thing .. So using these rounded shapes is only for ‘Burle Marx’ to do? I guess that people who make these remarks are not designers themselves, then you would know that there is a difference between ‘copying’ and ‘being inspired by’.

      Anyways, I like the design, have no clue about whether it is easy to maintain and am just wondering if there are also picture from within the park? As in the way the people would actually experience it.

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  • Draft Dot

    Beautiful, however, pure Burle-Marxism
    As Warren Buffett says (in his 3-i theory, which applies for every field), there are 3 kinds of people:

    1- Inovators
    2- Imitators
    3- Idiots

  • http://www.estilosrusticos.blogspot.com Silvy

    Rare, estrange design.
    I dont like.