Photos: César Gª Guerra
Where: Madrid, Spain
FÜNDC, Spanish architecture and urban planning office, just finalized the largest urban intervention of the last decades made on Pozuelo de Alarcón municipality, Madrid province: The New Cultural Center (NCC) and the new pedestrian area on and around Padre Vallet square. It establishes itself as the origin of the new network of pedestrian spaces.
The project has a couple of unprecedented design solutions such as ‘mega-tree-pots’ and a transformable hall. The pots allow for the growth of medium-large trees above an underground parking, making possible green areas where usually just hard squares are found. The hall allows for an use modification on the cultural building program, as it can switch between exhibition promenade and auditorium mode through the manipulation of movable floor decks.
The built size of the intervention, both under and above ground comes near to 20.000 m2 (65.000 sq. ft.). It consists on the urbanization through a new uninterrupted stone pavement, fountains and ‘mega-tree-pots’ around a New Cultural Center building. The latter is composed of two different architectural typologies, old and new, which work on a symbiotic manner providing traditional and transformable spaces. Under these areas and building a double-deck parking absorbs the vehicle impact working together with underground roads and bus stops, freeing the upper square spaces to pedestrians and bikes.
“This intervention changes the traditional way of understanding new pedestrian areas on built environment as it does not choose between pedestrians or cars but accepts both, re-positioning them.” as explained by architect Cesar Garcia co-author and partner together with Paz Martin of FÜNDC, office originally established in The Netherlands and relocated to Spain. “No need for road restrictions when you can reposition them underground. No need for lack of parking places as you can multiply them on levels. No need for flat hard public squares when you can grow large trees, necessary for urban comfort on this climate.”
FÜNDC has been awarded in numerous occasions with architecture and urban planning prizes, and has developed other large-scale urban projects in The Netherlands (Amsterdam and Eindhoven) and France (Lille). Other realized work to be emphasized is the R13 building in China, built inside the Park of Architecture of Jinhua City; project curated by Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei and Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
FÜNDC currently works on other architectural and urban projects linked to culture, art exhibition designs and book design, having as objective the accomplishment of its acronym FÜNDC = Fusion & Union Needed by Disciplines of Creation, as they understand that any product, “from a book to a city” needs to be created with a multidisciplinary approach through the coordination from start of all technical and artistic fields necessary.