‘Simplicity’ was watchword for Chamartin urban resdesign

Amsterdam-headquartered UNStudio in conjunction with Madrid-based b720 Arquitectos and  engineering firm Esteyco recently won the bid to design the urban renewal project around Madrid’s Chamartin rail station.

“Chamartin is one of the major high-speed train stations but also has a very important regional function,” said UNStudio senior architect and director Arjan Dingste. “We’ll be building a new train station, but also revamping the whole area around it, with lots of real estate being developed there.”

What is a major public-private partnership will mean a long engagement with the district. “We’ll be here for 12 years working on these exciting projects, connecting neighbourhoods, making a very sustainable development and working with the governmental partners and commercial partners to make this project a success,” Dingste explained in an interview with Real Asset Insight.

As part of the drive for sustainability keeping as many existing elements was important. “The first thing in sustainability, of course, is not building.”

“The second thing is what can you upgrade and we have used that strategy to develop a concept that some people say is so simple.” However, simplicity is complexity, Says Dingste.

“We’ve been working very hard to find a system to connect and reconnect the Charmartin area and make it sustainable for the future and the results are a very simple looking idea with lots of brain power behind it.”