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