A masterplan by British duo Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners and landscape architect Grant Associates to create a new business and residential district in north Madrid has won outline planning.
The proposal for Madrid Castellana Norte aims to transform a 500-hectare tract of neglected land close to Chamartín railway station. Constituting “the most significant regeneration plan for Madrid in over 20 years”, and one of the largest scale masterplans in Europe, the project also involves the renewal of the area’s transport infrastructure.
Key to Grant Associates’ landscape strategy is the creation of a green corridor that will act as a “spine” for the district. The spine will be a continuation of ‘El Paseo del Castellana’ – Madrid’s main thoroughfare and promenade. The idea is to restore a pedestrian character to this most northern stretch of Paseo de la Castellana, and create a gateway to El Monte de El Pardo, a protected forest parkland a few kilometres northwest of the city.
New green parks will serve to link the different neighbourhoods of the new district, as well as providing 15km of cycle paths. The parks will feature a variety of tree-like, geometric canopy structures that offer shade, shelter and visual interest. These ‘Fractal Trees’ will complement a series of water features that also aim to mitigate Madrid’s hot summer months.
North Madrid’s existing network of roads and railway lines will also be replaced with a layout that integrates and unifies transport systems. Chamartín station will become a transport hub with improved links to the city’s airport.
Grant Associates said the overall aim of the Madrid Castellana Norte masterplan is to create a model of 21st Century urban sustainability, which is “able to attract international investment to the district at the same time as being an attractive, green place for people to enjoy”.
Andrew Grant, founder and director at Grant Associates, said: “This bold plan to renew the northernmost area of Madrid takes the city to the forefront of sustainable urban planning. The design of Madrid Castellana Norte is all about improving people’s quality of life and boosting the connectivity of this part of the city.
“A network of green public spaces is fundamental to this vision. New parks will unify the different elements of the new district, while connecting the city to the wonderful mountainous parkland on its north-west fringe.”