‘Encuentro’ means encounter however, despite its name, Plaza del Encuentro is rather a traffic roundabout than a square, not only due to its geometry and area allocated for vehicles, but also due to its immense dimension. Its different spaces appear fragmented, lacking unity and character.
The proposal seeks to change these conditions and is characterized by its three main interventions:
1. Pedestrian priority
Although the removal of the traffic that crosses the square is not considered feasible, the proposal includes a new traffic layout that minimizes the vehicle impact in the Square. The central roundabout is removed and the Moratalaz Avenue is extended to concentrate the traffic on the central axis of the square. This solution increases the pedestrian paved areas and decreases significantly the space taken over by vehicles. This allows for the segregation of traffic, tangent and perpendicular to the square, preventing the traffic found on the perimeter of the neighbourhood from entering into the square, as is now the case.
2. Integrated pavement
A great continuous surface of porous asphalt emerges on all sides of the square. Thanks to the continuity of the pavement, the horizontal plane is perceived as a whole. This can be enhanced by cutting down the traffic to prioritize pedestrian transit during especial events such as local festivities, important dates or even every Sunday.
3. Ever-changing rooms
Responding to Moratalaz’s urban conditions, a module is designed to be repeated in three of the four corners of the square. It will contrast with the rigidity of the surrounding buildings thanks to its flexible uses, ever-changing, versatile and open finishes.
This module combines a light metal structure and an ornamental forest. The multiform and multipurpose metal structure becomes an ever-changing room covered with vines, wisteria and hop. The vegetation will vary depending on the season, changing the character of the rooms, which can host a significant number of activities and uses, providing a setting for concerts, cinematographic screenings – reminding us of the old cinema which previously existed in the square – flower markets, ice-skating rinks, local festivities and other events.
Every copse consists of fifteen koelreuteria paniculata distributed in three rows of five trees each. A set of almond trees placed in the interior of one of the rooms will contrast with the green and yellow koelreuteria paniculata.