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Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter

11 May 2021 Comments (0) Architecture, Culture, Environment, Other, Technology

Architectural excellence for sustainable and accessible public spaces

Renazca: this portmanteau that is difficult to translate refers to Madrid’s Azca business district. Renazca Park (“renaissance of Azca”) is a new public space, which will be dedicated to culture and leisure. 

This is – and this is rare enough to be mentioned – a private initiative, financed by companies that own buildings in the neighbourhood. Three prestigious teams are at the helm: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gustafson Porter + Bowman and b720 fermin vazquez arquitectos.

Emphasis will be placed on accessibility and sustainability, giving priority to pedestrians. Vehicle access to underground tracks will be adapted (lattice structures will reduce the visual impact). A network of pedestrian paths and walkways will link the site to its urban environment and to public transport networks, integrating Azca into the rest of the city.

  • Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter
    Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter
  • Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter
    Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter
  • Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter
    Renazca - Madrid © DSR Gustafson Porter

A generous and participatory project 

This new green space will include two reactive environmental sculptures: the “permanent sun” will reflect the light towards areas that are perpetually in the shade thanks to a network of rotating heliostats, while the “permanent shade” will provide a zone protected from sunlight thanks to a hovering disk with a diameter of 22 meters. 

Renazca will also offer day-time and evening recreational and cultural activities throughout the year. It will have 15 “urban alcoves”, each adapted to host a unique programme, such as a fresh produce market, a children’s play area, an open-air library or workspace, a sculpture garden, cafes and shops, bars or a collective allotment. 

The biodiverse urban ecosystem will include native plants and a rainwater collection and storage system that will irrigate and manage the park. 

But that’s not all: the project is participatory. It will evolve according to the contributions of citizens, companies and other actors of the local community, becoming a creative lab where all new ideas can be integrated later. The Renazca project is truly a spectacular illustration of the many advances that architecture has to offer: innovation, culture, leisure, sustainability, strengthening of social ties and well-being in the city. 

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