A design team comprised by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gustafson Bowman + Porter y B720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos has been chosen to lead the transformation of Madrid’s AZCA district.
RENAZCA has selected a design team to lead the transformation of Madrid’s AZCA district, seeking to achieve the urban, economic, and social revitalization of the area. The team was chosen after a two-stage competition directed by IE School of Architecture and Design Martha Thorne and architect Edgar González, as part of a larger initiative to reactivate public space with the support of the private sector.
The process followed by RENAZCA has clearly illustrated that when the private sector, city administration, and academia come together, each in its own way, for place-making and urban transformation, the result is a huge win for Madrid.
— Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design.
With the participation of approximately 50 architecture studios from around the world, with at least one Spanish partner per team, 31 groups have been preselected. Five teams had made it to the final stage, all studios have particular international experience in high-quality urban transformations: OMA, MVRDV, West 8, Heatherwick Studio, and the eventual winners, Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Discover the winning design and the shortlisted proposals:
The team’s design vision responds to the site’s complexities as well as the unique opportunity to provide much-needed public space in the center of Madrid, welcoming everyone and offering diverse programming. Their design will continue to evolve in response to the input of local citizens, businesses, and other community stakeholders. The winning proposal will create a biodiverse urban ecosystem, with native plantings and a dynamic water feature that recalls old river channels that once crossed through the site. A rainwater catchment and storage system will irrigate the landscape and regulate a sustainably-designed water feature.
"In the heart of the district, a new topography with elevated edges forms the “Central Green”- a meadow flexible enough to accommodate a variety of outdoor events, ranging from a 200- to 10,000-person capacity. The Central Green will feature a pair of responsive environmental sculptures: “Permanent Sun” will reflect sunlight onto areas perpetually cast in shadow using an array of pivoting heliostats; while “Permanent Shadow” will provide a consistent area of reprieve from harsh sun, using a hovering 22-diameter disk", explained the organization.
The proposal incorporates 15 “Urban Rooms”, each tailored according to their site conditions to host a unique landscape and program, such as a fresh produce market, children's playground, open-air library, sculpture garden, cafes and bars, a productive garden, an outdoor co-working space, and perhaps a FabLab.
Pedestrians will be prioritized throughout the newly reconfigured public spaces. At the periphery of the block, vehicular access to underground roadways will be adapted with lushly planted trellis structures to reduce the visual impact of cars. Barrier-free access will replace myriad stairs and ramps found on the site today. A new network of pedestrian routes and walkways align with key features within and beyond the site, while maintaining important access for emergency and safety services. The pedestrian network connects the site to its urban surroundings and nearby transportation networks, enfolding AZCA into the rest of the city.
Design Team: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gustafson Bowman + Porter, B720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos
Landscape: Citerea S.L.
Structural Engineer: Valladares
Sustentabilidad: Societat Organica
Quantity Surveyor: Dinmas
MEP: Hoare LEA, FSL
Space Modeling: Space Syntax