Madrid Oasis

by Javier Perez Puchalt from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Section d’Architecture, Faculté ENAC, Switzerland
Tutored by: Roberto Gargiani, Luca Ortelli, Beatrice Lampariello

Author comments:

“Madrid Oasis” is strategically located in the northern suburbs of the city, between the railway and the big axis “Paseo de la Castellana”. The Oasis is conceived as a concrete slab that folds to the ends to accommodate natural elements – sand and water – and artificial ones, becoming an urban-scale platform capable of irresistibly attract a large audience. The slab guarantees a perfect isolation from the periphery landscape with no qualities, creating then an Oasis for a new kind of urban life and finally a new city model. Once on the slab, citizens stroll on an artificial beach which is protected, far from the frantic pace of the contemporary city; to swim, get a tan, to read, do some sports, all these are the activities that the slab offers. But under this surface, “Madrid Oasis” creates another dimension, also based on a programmatic intensity. From the brightness of the beach we go to the darkness of a large car park, a shopping centre, a fitness club, nightclubs and a metro station. Materials change, atmospheres are overthrown: the slab shows its true essence of social accelerator

Tutor comments:

Next to Chamartín station in Madrid could, one day, arise Javier’s floating platform, a fragment of a fantastic world precipitated in that place to be offered to the citizens. That platform does not intend to bow to context directives, it conserves its absolute rectangular shape; yet it is rooted in the ruins that are present on the ground, concrete columns of an unfinished construction that the platform takes out from the ground and makes them powerful and noble. The worlds that the platform hosts in the lower floors are made of different light intensities where dimness is cut off by a liquefied light, filtered by a mysterious water mirror. Those who climb up to the platform along the bending-like-tongues ramps, access Javier’s fantastic world and find themselves immersed in an unexpected beach with its small sea, wooden quays for walks, the locker rooms, the cafes and the palm trees. One is, on Javier’s platform, sheltered against the modern city which is still visible beyond the screens raised as festive optical barriers, memories of women who once use to lay their sheets on the banks of the river. Against that landscape it stands, dancing like a girl dressed in a beach costume, a new tower that pretends to be a water reservoir. Sitting on a deckchair, at sunset, the towers of the city vanish, one can see the sky of Madrid, one is caressed by the breeze, we are ready to resume the fantastic trip, happy to be led by Javier to other destinations. (Roberto Gargiani)

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