Madrid Rio urban & landscape project was awarded by the International Committee of Architectural Critics with the CICA Award 2011 and Green Good Design 2011, Lumiartecnia Internacional collaborated and acted as consultant to the team of architects for the water landscape design and fountains conception for Madrid Rio. This project has become an international reference for urban landscape remodeling.
It is the most important civil construction work in the city of Madrid in recent decades and probably one of the most ambitious public space projects newly built in Europe.
In 2003, the City of Madrid decided to bury the first part of the major section of the city’s ring of roads that ran on the banks of the Manzanares river along six kilometers, and it was constructed 30 years ago, led to the disappearance of the links between the city and the river, which was isolated, inaccessible and invisible.
In 2005 the Madrid City Council convened an International Design Competition in order to obtain proposals for the management and development of this great void. It was a large urban park project of 6 km length and 1,500,000 m2. surface on both sides of the river.
Finally the winning team was headed by Ginés Garrido and formed by an association of architect studios in Madrid: Mrio architects (Burgos & Garrido, Porras & La Casta and Rubio & Álvarez-Sala) in collaboration with the Dutch study West 8.
The project connects the city of Madrid with the valuable exterior landscapes that surrounds it and thus the Manzanares River has become the connection point between the city and its geography, through the construction of a corridor with trees on its banks and a dozen of bridges and walkways that link neighborhoods across and beyond the major traffic infrastructure that prevented contact between the citizens and the river.
Almost half of the project area is located on the roofs of the tunnels over the complex technical systems associated with them and over large urban infrastructures. On this huge “underground building” vegetation has been used as main building material. The project general strategy was to construct a dense vegetation cover, forest character almost, and so to make a landscape with living material over an inert and artificial substrate underground.
The transverse circulation and the old isolation on both sides of the river is solved by the use of 11 new bridges that cross the river, added to the 22 already existing, adding a total of 33 bridges and walkways throughout the park.
Lumiartecnia advised the team of architects in developing the architectural water projects, urban beaches, water landscapes of mist and fir forests below the Segovia bridge. Water elements in Madrid Rio park are distributed as follows:
Salon de Pinos
It is the corridor that runs along the right bank of the river, running through the entire park lengthwise. It is built over the tunnels almost entirely and it has an average width of 30 meters and 6 km in length. On the concrete slab covering the passing cars, it has been planted more than 9,000 units of Pinus pinea, Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster, of various sizes, shapes and groups with a framework of forest plantation. In this way we obtain a controlled extension of the pine forests of Madrid’s north mountains.
In this space where is located the hermitage of the Virgen del Puerto, four ornamental fountains have been built, to evoke the old wash that existed in this area and where the capital washerwomen worked until the early twentieth century, when the river was channeled.
The original elongated pond designs contain inside a urban landscape of waterfalls of variable flow allowing the fountain to work with different patterns, sometimes works only the waterfall, sometimes only the pavement stones get wet with water spraying from a special spray nozzle designed for this project and at intervals the end of the channel shows a magical landscape of ornamental fog illuminated with Color LEDs at night, with different intensities, creating an atmosphere of mysterious haze.
“All the Madrilenians have to admit that it was worth the effort. Madrid has regained its river and has buried not only 200,000 cars, but also a dark and black history, and now Madrid looks at the XXI century telling the world that this is how we want our city in the future “, said the major of Madrid during the opening ceremony.
Under the Segovia Bridge there are two large artificial ornamental ponds along the Manzanares river. They are found on both sides of the bridge, passing under three of its eyes.
In each pond, a monumental fountain rises above the Segovia Bridge, shaped with 16 Cascade jets LI-5111, mimicking a forest of water firs. At the other side of both ponds, where water is calm and relaxing, there is a small island with vegetation and water lilies.
A total of 39,000 square meters have been used in the area, 7217 of which are for fresh treated water ponds. All engineering project for water treatment and filtration was fully developed by Lumiartecnia Internacional. Inside the large ponds, initially, there was going to be a very amazing and original water fountain with the shape of a cat jumping higher than the bridge. This challenging project was technically solved by Lumiartecnia, though finally it was substituted for the water firs forest.
These pools are meant for citizens to soak their feet but with 60 cm of depth and the large size of the ponds, including the sections under the bridge, some people more than soaking their feet, sometimes dive and swim from one side to another.
The urban beach proposal comes to reality materializing the winning idea of the Children and Youth contest held in 2005, attended by 3,525 schools across the city. The beach is located at the heart of the new Arganzuela Park, a large green area of 232,000 square meters, and covering an area of 11,930 meters square, with a frontage of 270 meters on the river’s edge.
The original project developed by Lumiartecnia International, included different types of walkable compact jets LI-F5000, to be able to fill and empty the water in the beach ponds very quickly, to magically wrap the area with ornamental fog permitting to cross the space without getting wet and finally, creating an interactive digital fountain with water features in spectacularly motion sequences illuminated with RGB color LED lights at night.
Finally, the built option consists of three oval aquatic enclosures in which alternate three different effects: surface water, where users can lie down and soak, water jets and clouds of fine water spray. Rest areas and stay, with more than 6,500 square meters and nearly 300 trees will complete the field of urban beach.
The other architectural fountains in the park are: a singular oval fountain with parabolic jets and nine small oval ponds, distributed through the park with simple ornamental water effects and a water-shaped vortex.
For more information about Madrid Rio project you can check these links:
* Some pictures courtesy of Burgos & Garrido Architects