Located on the northern edge of the city center, RENAZCA will transform Madrid’s AZCA financial district, fostering the area’s urban, economic and social revitalization. RENAZCA will set a new benchmark for the city of the future, emphasizing the role of accessibility, open space and sustainability. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gustafson Porter + Bowman, and b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, the proposal responds to the site’s complexities and the unique opportunity to provide much-needed public space in the center of Madrid, welcoming all Madrilenians with diverse programming.
Pedestrians will be prioritized throughout the newly reconfigured public spaces. At the periphery of the block, vehicular access to underground roadways will be adapted with lushly planted trellis structures to reduce the visual impact of cars. Barrier-free access will replace myriad stairs and ramps found on the site today. A new network of pedestrian routes and walkways align with key features within and beyond the site, while maintaining important access for emergency and safety services. The pedestrian network connects the site to its urban surroundings and nearby transportation networks, enfolding AZCA into the rest of the city.
In the heart of the district, a new topography with elevated edges forms the “Central Green”- a meadow flexible enough to accommodate a variety of outdoor events, ranging from a 200- to 10,000-person capacity. The Central Green will feature a pair of responsive environmental sculptures: “Permanent Sun” will reflect sunlight onto areas perpetually cast in shadow using an array of pivoting heliostats; while “Permanent Shadow” will provide a consistent area of reprieve from harsh sun, using a hovering 22-diameter disk.
RENAZCA will be a safe and welcoming public space for the entire city, activated with recreational and cultural activities, planned night and day, and across all seasons. The proposal incorporates 15 “Urban Rooms”, each tailored according to their site conditions to host a unique landscape and program, such as a fresh produce market, children's playground, open-air library, sculpture garden, cafes and bars, a productive garden, an outdoor co-working space, and perhaps a FabLab. All of this will expand AZCA’s reach beyond those who work and live here to draw all Madrilenians and visitors to this new destination.
RENAZCA will create a biodiverse urban ecosystem, featuring native plantings and a dynamic water feature that recalls old river channels that once crossed through the site. A rainwater catchment and storage system will irrigate the landscape and regulate a sustainably-designed water feature.