Plaza de la Luna   reforma integral de la plaza de la luna, madrid, ago 2007

 

client: City Council Madrid

constructor: FCC (Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas)

area: 6600 m2

year: 2006 (project), 2007 (construction)

photography: miguel de guzman, roland halbe, brut deluxe

project: ben busche, isabel barbas  team: alonso frolich

status: built

memoria descriptiva

 

La plaza de la Luna (Santa Maria Soledad Torres Acosta), una plaza muy reciente en el tejido urbano, se caracterizaba en los últimos años por la heterogeneidad de su configuración arquitectónica y una fuerte degradación ambiental.

La plaza presentaba un aspecto muy fraccionado. Se organizaba en varios desniveles conectados con rampas y escaleras. El tráfico rodado de la Calle de Tudescos dividía la plaza en dos. Los muros de contención, las rampas y las torres de ventilación del aparcamiento subterráneo formaban múltiples obstáculos verticales que impedían una percepción global y un uso peatonal cómodo por la misma.

Los objetivos de la remodelación han sido la ordenación urbanística y arquitectónica de la plaza para impulsar un uso más intenso de un público más amplio y compatible con las necesidades e intereses del vecindario.

El proyecto ordena el espacio de la plaza a través de la topografía. Se ha creado un espacio unificador en la zona central constituyendo un autentico escenario para la vida urbana, una zona vacía, indeterminada y polivalente en su uso, y unas gradas perimetrales hacia los bordes con una pendiente muy suave. Las gradas acogen y ordenan el arbolado y las piezas arquitectónicas existentes, como la rampa, las escaleras y las torres de ventilación del aparcamiento, los cuales se han renovado por entero empleándose un único material: acero corten estampado con un dibujo floral.

El mobiliario urbano se ha renovado y se asocia a la vegetación y la topografía nueva. En la zona mas baja de la plaza se ubica un juego de agua para niños. En el polo opuesto, en el punto más alto, se ha creado una zona de juego de niños y en asociación y convivencia una zona para mayores.

 

 

La vegetación se ha mas que duplicado. Se han plantado árboles de gran porte, castaños de indias, en las zonas perimetrales de la plaza para proporcionar sombra en verano y para crear un filtro vertical vegetal delante de las edificaciones dando a la vegetación un mayor protagonismo para la percepción atmosférica y espacial de la plaza.

La iluminación de la plaza, especialmente lade los soportales de los edificios Plaza Santa Maria Soledad Torres Acosta 1 y 2, era muy escasa. Aquí se ha instalado un nuevo falso techo cubierto de gresite blanco que actúa como pantalla reflectante a los proyectores proporcionando una iluminación mas intensay adecuada.

La pavimentación, de granito de distintos colores con pronunciado contraste, aumenta la lectura de la topografía configurando un tejido cuya dirección cambia en cada franja, densificándose la tonalidad del color verde oscuro hacia el centro y enlazándose con la ciudad hacia el perímetro.

La topografía y la pavimentación están enfocadas hacia el uso peatonal de la plaza. El tramo de la Calle Tudescos que cruza la plaza se ha eliminado parael tráfico rodado. La pavimentación de los viales indica un uso mayormente peatonal de la plaza.

La topografía establece una zonificación de actividades de límites difusas que se organizan según la necesidad en cada momento. El escenario polivalente en el centro de la plaza invita a actividades más dinámicas o deportivas mientras que hacialas gradas perimetrales se establecen actividades más contemplativas y de estancia.

La organización espacial no determina actividades en zonas concretas sino pretende dejar lugar amúltiples posibilidades que se establecen de forma temporal, como mercadillos o actuaciones musicales o de forma espontánea, como ir en bicicletao juegos deportivos.

short description

 

Plaza de la Luna (Plaza Santa Maria Soledad Torres Acosta) is a recently created square in the urban grid of the historical centre of Madrid. In the last decades the neighbourhood, just behind the commercial Gran Vía, suffers from the general degradation of the housings and associated drug traffic and prostitution.

Architectonically Plaza de la Luna was characterized in previous years by its mixed and incohesive construction, most of which was in a general state of disrepair. The visual appearance of the square was dominated by its mixed levels and platforms which were uneven and anti-functional. Its previous topography was unclear, different platforms were connected with ramps and stairs. A street(C/ Tudescos), which crossed and divided Plaza de la Lunainto two separate spaces, reinforced an image of the square with no unity. Different elements, such as walls, ramps, staircases, ventilation towers and vents of the underground car-park, acted as obstacles that hindered comfortable pedestrian use and with it, the general perception of the square.

A reorganization of the square, both architecturally and urbanistically was needed in order to encourage a more intense and mixed use that could match with the needs and interests of the neighbourhood.

The central idea of the project is a new topography. Despite of the difficulty because of the structure of the existing car-park with its ramps, staircases, elevators that all had to be maintained, we thought that the most important aim we had to achieve was to avoid the constant slope of the former topography towards the arcades of the southern office buildings that seemed to focus the whole space and perception precisely towards the worse part – the space beneath the arcades. Instead, we tried to create a topography that would be capable of unifying and organizing the whole space of the square redirecting the perception of the users towards a new centre. With this in mind, a large central space was created constituting a perfect setting for urban life; a multi functional, indeterminate and free area surrounded by low steps towards the edges. The steps accommodate and apply geometrical order to the trees and existing architectural elements such as ramps, stairs and ventilation towers.  

The renovation of the square included doubling the amount of vegetation and greenery; large growth chestnut trees were planted in the perimeter zones to provide shade in summer and to create a natural vertical filter in front of the different facades, which never were thought to look at a square and generally are of low aesthetic quality, so the best was to hide them as far as possible. This greatly changed the overall appearance by enhancing the role of vegetation in the everyday experience and atmosphere of the square.

Ramps, stairs and ventilation towers were renewed entirely with one main material: naturally rusted, 3 mm corten steel, either punched or stamped with a floral motif that we had developed for a former project (the kiosk m.poli). This warm coloured material offers best anti vandalism qualities as it is very hard to write on, glued papers drop off and sprayed on graffiti can be easily removed. The punched motif has a double function: transforming the perception of a cheap and rusted material and anti vandalism.

 

 

The urban furniture was designed and located taking into account the new topographical conditions, architectural elements and trees spread around the square, leaving free the centre. In the lowest point of the square a water fountain that doubles as a game for children provides a refreshing counter point in the hot summer and at the other end in the highest point of the square, a child’s play area was placed close to an area where seniors can exercise in the shade.

The lighting of the square, especially that of the arcade under the surrounding buildings, used to be very scarce. As a counterpoint to this, a new false ceiling covered with white gresite was installed acting as a reflective screen for projectors. This provided a higher level of illumination under the arcades making them safer at night and more adequate for all kinds of activities.

The paving focuses on the texture and is made out of granite of different highly contrasted colours (white, green, black and grey). It allows for a clear lecture of the topography of the square and points out the special character of the square in the urban grid comparative to the living room in a house. According to this image the floor texture can be understood like the big carpet inviting you to play on. The main pattern has alternating diagonal directions common to each ring of the overall design. The colours are used according to their position: dark green is more present near the centre whilst towards the perimeter it slowly disperses giving place to other tones that integrate more with the surrounding streets.

Both the topographical organization and paving schemes were intended to encourage higher pedestrian use of the area. The removal of the street that used to cross the square (C/ Tudescos) is a clear example of this, as is the paving of the streets that surround the square. Public space focused towards pedestrian use rather than traffic.

The topography accommodates for different activities with imprecise boundaries that can vary according to everyday needs. We believe that the best squares are those that are basically empty and indeterminate. The centre of Madridwas lacking of a space with multi functional nature that allows different uses depending on the hour and station. The free centre provides a more dynamic space encouraging sports and busier activities, while towards the edge and beneath the trees more contemplative and static activities take place. The spatial organization does not determine activities in fixed places but intends to allow diverse forms of temporary activities, like street markets, musical actions or playing sports such as bicycle riding, skateboarding or ball games.

publications  (print media / selection)

 

landscape paving (China), Phoenix Pub. & Media Inc., 2012

diseño de la ciudad (Spain), Issue 81, march 2012

Interni (Russia), nº 11, march 2011

aishti magazine (Lebanon), Issue 47, april 2010

Domes (Greece) Issue 83, Vol 08/09, sept 2009

arhitectur(Romania) nº 73, april 2009

Topos (Germany), nº 65, december 2008

c3 (South Korea), nº 281, january 2008

Construir (Portugal), nº 114, november 2007

arq./a (Portugal) arquitectura e arte, nº 50, october 2007

Diseño Interior (Spain), nº 183, october 2007

 

exhibitions

 

Topos Landscape Award, Cracow, Poland, june 2010

Expo 2010, Madrid Pavillon, Shangai, China, may-oct 2010

 

blogs (selection)

 

Landscape Architects Network   Feb 2015

Landscape China   Mar 2015