The proposal to transform the AZCA financial district of Madrid creates a space that has a refreshing coolness in summer, and welcoming warmth in winter, making the space an emblem for climate comfort, social inclusiveness, and vibrancy.
The strategy begins by ‘cleaning’ up the streetscape and by demolishing all redundant structures, drawing in daylight to the lower levels. This is followed by plantation and repaving. This vegetation filters the air and provides natural shading to cool the space in summer and shelter it in winter. This supports biodiversity, year-round beauty, abundant shading and shelter, and heat absorption.
The central plaza becomes the heart of this new urban forest. By adding gentle reliefs and creating a valley recess, we create better soil conditions for trees. The gentle valleys in between the trees, shrubs and grasses strengthen the cooling effect as it acts as a thermal mass, storing cool air in summer, and warmth in winter.
By stacking additional floors around this oasis, we can extend the forest in height. Plantings of oaks, olives, berries trees, ironwoods, and a selection of fruit trees and climbers expand the leafy, cool oasis. Paths through the forest lead to viewing points, cafés, bars and terraces between the plantings, where possible.
Together, the square and the vertical forest give rise to a green version of Madrid's Plaza Mayor, an exuberant SALÓN VERDE in the city that culminates the will to green AZCA, and celebrates precisely what the area lacks.