burgos & garrido arquitectos asociados

burgos & garrido arquitectos asociados

Madrid, ES


Madrid Rio

Madrid Rio is a project by  Burgos & Garrido; Porras La Casta; Rubio & A-Sala; West 8

In 2003 Madrid City Council decided to bury a 6 mile stretch of the city’s first Ring Road, known as the M30, which runs around the city with its West section running through both banks of the river Manzanares. The Madrid Rio project was part of the main engineering traffic renewal operation of the entire M30, which also involved a large set of construction works in different locations of the city.

The construction of the M30 was not the result of a single design, it had taken place carelessly during the last 40 years and its development had always been dependent on traffic demands.
Amongst the consequences and side effects, it erased the city’s connection to its river, rendering it inaccessible and invisible.
As a result of these major infrastructural works, valued at almost €4 billion, an enormous public open space appeared vacant at the heart of the city of Madrid, at a very central location, less than half-a-mile away from the Royal Palace and its gardens.

The Madrid Río project consists of the reorganization and the urban design of 6 miles of public space along the banks of the river Manzanares, parts of the city of Madrid through which it flows.
The design of this big park with a surface of over 360 acres is the visual consequence, or more precisely its materialization, which includes:
- 12 new pedestrian-bridges
- 15 acres of public and sports facilities, social, communal and artistic amenities
- An urban beach
- Children’s areas
- The restoration of the river’s hydraulic architectural heritage.

This is only what is visible but it is has no full meaning on its own because removing the M30 off the city’s surface, obviously had a greater impact on it .

Many things could happen once the M30 was erased and for that reason, the project also includes a Masterplan that extends over an additional 1,700 acres.
This Masterplan, as well as arranging public and private traffic, identifies new locations for the city’s public facilities. It enhances and suggests the design of all the public spaces found on this area, all following a 5, 10 and 15 years time-span.

Mainly, the Madrid Río project deals altogether with two urban targets that can be easily identified:

1. The project heals the wounds caused over 40 years by the motorway situated within the urban and social fabric. It also heals the wounds produced by the tunneling works themselves, as they were also quite significant and aggressive. This was achieved with the design and construction over 30 miles of sidewalks; the reorganization of the traffic and the public transport lines and system; the construction of 12 new footbridges over the river and the redesign of 6 existing ones, making them more pedestrian friendly.

2. The design and construction of a completely open public space essentially covered with trees that can be used by all, skaters, cyclists, strollers, climbers, runners, locals and city visitors. Longitudinally, it links the amazing exterior landscapes of the city of Madrid, mostly wild still, with its strongly urban and extreme dense interior. Something difficult to achieve in compact and old cities like Madrid. Transversally, it connects the historical city center with the modern periphery and the traces of History with the minute stories. Thus, the project establishes a physical and conceptual continuity, which did not
previously exist, between the city center and the valuable countryside that surrounds it. And as a result, the river Manzanares has become the node that connects the city with its geography.

Madrid Rio as a whole is one of the biggest “urban mat-building” in the world. Vegetation was the main material used on top of it to create a dense and ecological environment, a living landscape on an inert underground substrate. It is perhaps one of the projects that best integrates large infrastructures and the built urban fabric with the natural environment that surround them.
The aim of the project was to make place where the landscape, the city, the architecture and the urban infrastructures combine to create a more diverse environment and a greener and more inhabitable city.

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Status: Built
Location: Madrid
Firm Role: Project Architects, Design Team
Additional Credits: Ginés Garrido,[Team director]
Burgos & Garrido | Porras La Casta | Rubio & A-Sala |West8