Zumtobel Group award nominees in focus: Madrid Río
Taking Madrid’s traffic underground
Five shortlisted candidates have been announced for the Urban Developments & Initiatives category of the Zumtobel Group Awards 2014, which is sponsored by Thorn Lighting. Among them is Madrid Río, a major project to redesign Madrid's urban landscape by taking six kilometres of the city's ring road underground.
The project, delivered by architects Burgos & Garrido in partnership with Porras La Casta, Rubio & Álvarez-Sala, West 8 and others, represents a radical shift away from automobile-focused urban design. By effectively burying a section of the busy M40 road, the project has created new public spaces, freed local neighbourhoods from choking traffic and re-established the city's connection to the Manzanares River.
Taking this section of Madrid's ring road underground has made more than 150 hectares of land available for other uses. Of this land, around 120 hectares is being converted into a chain of green spaces along the banks of the river, giving Madrid's residents access to a beautiful natural environment within the boundaries of the city.
To make Madrid's traffic invisible to residents, the project partners created a sophisticated underground environment including a major tunnel -- a buried concrete structure more than six kilometres long. On the surface, forests and green spaces cover the concrete structure below, giving Madrid's residents unbroken views of new parks and the river itself.
Madrid Río is one of the most ambitious public projects to be delivered in Europe in recent years. While the ring road previously disconnected the city from the natural environment, this project has brought the urban cityscape and the river together once again for the benefit of local people.
The winning project will be announced at the Zumtobel Group Award press conference in London on September 22nd. For more information, visit www.zumtobel-group-award.com/en/957.asp.
Images 1-4: Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos / Porras La Casta / Rubio & Á.-Sala / West8
Image 5: Jeroen Musch