MA-GRID | Madrid Green Iconic Districts

Project: Design of a green infrastructure

Architects: Sebastian Benzoni, Caterina Biancoli, Lorenzo Gili, Tommaso Loiacono, Claudia Montedoro, Fabrizio Pollara, Gianluca Ricciolini. 

Project type: Competition 

Year: 2021

Location: Madrid, Spain

In addition to the possibility of carrying out on-site surveys, as well as studying the rich existing vegetation, the project area of San Blas F is interesting due to its elongated conformation, which translates into a punctual concatenation of spaces in constant dialogue with the street.

With the aim of bringing agriculture into the city, we have wondered what could be the common element for both. By staring at the cultivated rural landscapes of the Spanish countryside from above, they resemble fragments of a mosaic, like solid color spots interspersed with clear lines. This concept turns into the language we have chosen as the basis for the application and management of the project intervention.

The resulting orthogonal mesh is calibrated on the urban landscape with 2×2 m tesserae as its basic units. With its multiples and submultiples, each tessera is functional for the design of individual objects at different scales, from the flooring to the metal reticular structures design. Moreover, it facilitates their placement within both the pre-existing context and any future scenario. The outcome is a variegated collage of artifacts in the making; just like in a three-dimensional Tetris, they fit together and their juxtaposition leads to different possibilities of aggregation and spatial configuration, capable of easily adapting to every urban fabric plot.

Focal point of the entire design is the “Green Pergola”. This green infrastructure gives shelter and increases the provision of safe spaces for pedestrians, improving the aesthetic quality of the surrounding environment as well as its microclimate conditions. Incorporated by climbing vegetation, this sculpture enhances the identity and perceptive aspects linked to such a landscape redevelopment aimed at searching a renewed individuality of the place that can thus accommodate social events.

The pergola is a diaphragm and a buffer area, a dynamic flow of wire mesh modules that continuously changes direction and twists around different objects. It is a space in motion

and a meeting point that welcomes and nourishes the dialogue between the strongly anthropized aspects of the city and Nature, providing its inhabitants with resources for the care and cultivation of the natural asset.

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