Eden Archipelago

Representative graphic document
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
Photo © María de la O Molina Pérez-Tomé
RDA Studio // Marió Molina

Project Location
Madrid, Spain

Landscape Regeneration Infrastructure, Water 

Landscape Regeneration 

Seed deposit 

We are located in Madrid on the southern slope of the Retiro Park. There we found a nursery-greenhouse for ornamental species with a mixture of sheds. An active place, but not used, since the city council raised a tender in 2019 to carry out works to improve the water supply to these buildings. 

Did you know that 50% of the replanting of species in Madrid comes from different external commercial nurseries but that Madrid does not have a seed deposit to ensure its green heritage? In large urban agglomerations there is a growing difficulty for citizens to get in touch with nature. The thick layer of buildings that covers the cities increasingly separates its inhabitants from what had always been the natural environment of man. The proportion of free spaces and planted areas that provide the inhabitants with the "green mass" is essential, since it is capable of absorbing the products of combustion that occur in the population, returning the necessary oxygenation to the stale air. 

The location of the project, close to the Retiro Park and the exposure on the slope towards the urban fabric, makes the concept of rus in urbe fully usable, proposing a more ambitious project that collaborates with the future repopulation of Madrid with floral species and trees creating in turn, an ecosystem for the birds that nest in the Retiro Park in the midst of urban densification, and that seek to look out and observe. Therefore, the main purpose will be to flee from the typology of rectangular greenhouse buildings that are laid directly on the ground, for a project in charge of a landscape and an architecture that houses the crops, which will work from canal water based on the idea of ​​the old Aflaj irrigation and supply system. The project is born from what already exists, from that topography that contains the root crop and a path that surrounds it. New paths appear that have the shape of the folds of the land where the outdoor nursery crop will be located. The route that was made between the crops, now becomes something physical with the catwalk in charge of showing them from a previously unknown point of view. In addition to transforming it into a place for contemplation and recreation, the recovery of this hillside with a drop of up to 20 meters is carried out, which is concealed spread over an area of ​​4 hct, in which the circulation of water in the channel at constant height is resolved with flow regulators and pillars every 40 meters. As a challenge to solve, it was necessary to find a construction capable of serving as a greenhouse infrastructure based on a pre-existing crop footprint, with concrete pillars two by two, a hanging structure on the roof and adaptable to the variation of terrain. An architecture that works with a mechanized nature: the sun, the air and the light are controlled at the service of this archipelago of pavilions that work from water as self-sufficient cisterns. The design will respond to the thermal needs of the Madrid year in the Retiro area, trying to be the most stable despite the fact that each one needs specific conditions added to the cultivation or use program that they contain.

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