2009 – Encima del cielo _ Madrid Spain
Project Encima del cielo
Program School, sport centre, library…
Place Basilica San Francisco El Grande, Madrid, Spain
Surface 50000 m²
Team Eric Cassar, Yi Qu, Camilo Carrasco, Marwen Belkhiria
Owner Europan 10 General Principles Establish a historic site. Initiate, organise and describe the public space. Provide a walk…
What stands out most during the visit of the conisca San Francisco el Grande, is the geography of the site: a ledge situated at the end of the city center. Its relief acts as dead end for the inhabitants of the center and as a cliff difficult to climb for the local residents below. Ideally situated this place has to become a link between the center and the river. It is thus necessary to remove the relief barrier. So we implant four footbridges which are going to step over the buildings in front of the site to land in specific areas of the district below (communication knots). These areas are chosen because they can receive a vertical circulation including elevators and staircase, without changing the existing infrastructure. They are departure places of new passages allowing pedestrians and cyclists to join much more quickly the city center (and vice versa). These footbridges erase the effort to climb the relief while offering to Madrid inhabitants a walk in the sky with an open view on the city.
Majority of Madrid squares are closed places. Here we open the space on the view, on the horizon. And this clear view belongs to everybody thanks to the use of the oblique place in front of the landscape. The hudge surface of public space is divided in several places. It generates varied spaces, with additional flavours. According to the seasons, the day hour, the climate and the instant desire we shall prefer to meet on one of these places. Under those places the program takes benefits of the views thanks a glass fault which becomes a light sign by night.
We open the public place to the view while creating a series of oblique places towards the landscape. Everybody can then take advantage of the view wherever they are. Footbridges connecting places with the district below invite to feel more intensely the landscape. They offer the magic possibility of walking on the city…