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Open Ecosystem, Shortlisted Design to Transform Chamartín Into a Hub for Sustainable Mobility on Request of Adif AV

Open Ecosystem, Shortlisted Design to Transform Chamartín Into a Hub for Sustainable Mobility on Request of Adif AV
photo: Adif AV/Open Ecosystem, Shortlisted Design to Transform Chamartín Into a Hub for Sustainable Mobility on Request of Adif AV
15 / 12 / 2022

Chamartín open ecosystem, the proposal presented by Esteyco, UNStudio and b720 Arquitectura for the integral remodelling of Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor and its urban integration, has been shortlisted after the opening of the international competition launched by Adif Alta Velocidad (AV) to transform this railway hub into an international benchmark for sustainable, multimodal, connected and integrated mobility.

The proposal unanimously obtained the highest score of the nine finalist designs (submitted anonymously, under a slogan) by the world's leading engineering and architecture firms and was assessed by a 16-member jury, which considered aspects such as functionality – railway, commercial and tertiary – constructive feasibility, accessibility and integration into the city, environmental sustainability, social and gender architecture and image, to turn the railway complex into an urban and architectural reference in Madrid.

The specifications demanded the integration of the train and the city in a proposal that would be an exponent of architectural quality. It also established the independence of execution, financing and operation of the station to make its development and management viable.

The jury highlighted the extraordinary level of the proposals submitted, their quality in all the fields required in the international competition and the opportunity that each one of them represents to face the railway, urban and architectural transformation that the new Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor represents.

After the opening of the tenders, the awarding of the service contract for the transformation and urban integration of the railway transport hub, as well as the drafting of preliminary projects, basic and construction projects valued at EUR 29 million, will be completed once the documentation of the shortlisted group has been validated and the approval by the Board of Directors of Adif AV, in the coming weeks.

Vaults, terraces and towers

Chamartín open ecosystem is a project defined by three elements: the vaults, the terraces and the towers. By choosing them, Chamartín is committed to an open station that promotes dialogue between the city and the railway.

The proposal respects the historical memory of Chamartín and the investments made by Adif AV in the station, recovering the vaults as a singular and identifying element of the station. The urban balconies (stepped terraces), for their part, generate permeability with the city, open windows to citizens over the station and are integrated into the surroundings, as an extension of the parks located on both sides of the complex.

The architectural solution maintains the typology of individual canopies on the platforms and gives priority to the direct view between the platforms and the city. In this way, in part, the representativeness of the station is transferred to the non-railway buildings, the towers, which will be perceived by the traveller as the first or last image of Madrid on his journey. From the buildings, as if they were watchtowers of the railway, the train can be enjoyed, while travellers will feel that they have arrived at the heart of a prosperous, modern and welcoming city.

The proposal responds to railway functionality through two multi-purpose terminals, which can be used flexibly: for passenger departures or arrivals, the use of different railway operators and destinations, and the future evolution of the railway complex. The north terminal includes a truncation that will facilitate direct access to the Cercanías platforms and to the routes of passengers departing or arriving on long-distance trains, coming from or going to Cercanías.

The jury valued the in-depth knowledge of the flow dynamics. The complex is transformed into a large block courtyard, which generates interior routes around the tracks and platforms, guaranteeing connectivity and promoting pedestrian flow between the entrances from the four façades. To facilitate accessibility and mobility, two secondary vestibules are included, on the east and west.

The project also makes an outstanding intermodal connection with the interchange, with access via Agustín de Foxá, with easy integration with other modes of transport: taxi, metro and active mobility (pedestrians, bicycles, scooters). It is also in line with Adif's modernisation plans for its stations, such as the Digital Transformation Plan and the e-Futura Plan.

The commercial solution is based on an All in Hall model, appropriate for a high-volume station, with the coexistence of Cercanías and long-distance services. The configuration of the commercial blocks of the north terminal, as a public square, is reinforced with a corridor and connecting elements with the park and the city, intensifying the railway functionality of the south terminal.

The distribution of the tertiary sector in three towers allows for independent asset management from the rest of the complex. The offices are conceived as flexible spaces with optimal natural lighting. 

The independence of the parts allows for a phased and flexible construction plan that can be implemented in line with the railway's needs.

The sustainability strategy responds to the criterion of an adaptable and inclusive infrastructure: accessible, digitised, last-mile logistics and urban design, designed for pedestrians and local mobility.

Doubling capacity, organising flows and connecting with other means of transport

The project will succeed in the actions currently being undertaken by Adif AV at the station to double the high-speed capacity and the passenger concourse, organise flows, facilitate connection with other urban transport - through the recovery of a Central concourse - and maximise tracks and platforms for Cercanías and the medium and long-distance network.

It will also undertake the connection with Madrid Bajaras airport, which is currently out to tender, and the incorporation of spaces for new modes of clean transport. At present, progress is also being made in the coverage of its 200,000 m2 track, which will support the large park of the Crea Madrid Nuevo Norte operation.

The actions developed by Adif AV, which will consolidate Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor as a reference for the transport of the future, represent an investment of more than 1 billion Euro and respond to the challenges of the liberalisation of passenger rail transport and a more sustainable, intelligent and integrated mobility model, around the railway and with the focus on the traveller and the citizen.

International competition with multidisciplinary jury

The international competition for the transformation of Chamartín started in February 2020 and attracted the interest of 18 architecture and engineering teams. Of these, ten were selected based on economic, technical and professional solvency and were invited to participate a year later in the second phase, in which they presented their design proposals. 

On 13 July, nine proposals were received, which have since been assessed by a multidisciplinary jury, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), Adif and Adif AV, Crea Madrid Nuevo Norte (CMNN), the local and regional administrations, the Transport Consortium and professional associations.

Source: Adif AV Press Releases