In 2003, Madrid City Council decided to bury the western section of the first Ring Road of the city, known as the M30. This part of the M30, 10km in length, passed alongside both banks of the Manzanares River. It had erased the city’s connection to its river, rendering it inaccessible and invisible. As a result of these major infrastructural works an enormous public open space appeared vacant at the heart of the city of Madrid.
In 2005, our team won the international design competition held for the design of the Madrid Rio Park. We regarded the project as a great geographical intervention, much bigger in scale than just the area left vacant by the burying of the motorway. It was essential to envision, understand, draw, and walk the river as a whole, from its source at the Sierras in the North of Madrid, to the plateaus and meadows in the South and somehow incorporate this experience and geographical reality into the project.
With this intervention, the city of Madrid belongs once more to the geography of the river.
The Madrid Rio project, with a surface of over 150 ha, includes:
– The reorganization, urban and landscape design of the new public park
– 6 ha of public and sports facilities, social, communal and artistic amenities
– An urban beach
– Playgrounds and children’s areas
– The restoration of the river’s hydraulic architectural heritage
– 12 new pedestrian-bridges