Madrid RIO
2006-2011, Madrid, Spain

The city of Madrid dug 43 kilometres of tunnels into which the exit routes and motorways of the six-kilometre section along the River Manzanares disappeared. West 8, working together with MRIO arquitectos, a joint venture of three Madrid based firms led by Ginés Garrido Colomero, designed the master plan for the reclaimed riverbanks and the new urban area. Development plans were then prepared for the individual components: Salón de Pinos, Avenida de Portugal, Huerta de la Partida, Jardines del Puente de Segovia, Jardines del Puente de Toledo, Jardines de la Virgen del Puerto and Arganzuela Park.

The most important of which include: the Salón de Pinos, designed as a linear green space, which will link the existing and newly designed urban spaces with each other along the Manzanares River, located almost entirely on top of the motorway tunnel, with a"choreography" of the 8.000-fold pine tree planting with a repertoire of cuts.  

Avenida de Portugal, one of the most important roads into the centre of Madrid, relocated in a tunnel and providing underground parking, converting the space into a garden, benefitting the local residents in particular with cherry.

Huerta de la Partida, the old Royal Palace is now a modern interpretation of the orchard and a wide variety of fruit trees in groups, formed from skipping ranks. For the Arganzuela Park, the dominating motive is the water. The canalized and damped river Manzanares is surrounded by his architectonical walls. The different streams have their own characters.

Puentes Cascara, sevring as bridges and iconic landmark, creates a place where the river is really experienced. They are designed as a massive concrete dome with a rough texture which have the scale of park elements with more than one hundred cables resembling whale baleens wearing the slim steel deck and the ceilings of a mosaic by artist Daniel Canogar.

The first parts of the project were completed in spring 2007 and in spring 2011 the project has approached its completion.

Arganzuela Park and the Salon de Pinos are connected by two slow traffic bridges, the Cascara Bridges

For images see also:

Video about the project backgroud with beautiful close up of the project please visit

A video here below is the birdview footage of Madrid RIO produced by :

video footage courtesy cromatica45. info@cromá

Municipality of Madrid
Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos Asociados, Porras La Casta Arquitectos and Rubio & Álvarez-Sala (during construction period these 3 Madrid-based firms formed a joint venture for the project: MRIO arquitectos)
Asprima-Sima Award for best urban development plan or urban renewal 2012 (Spain), COAM Awards to the Work of Architects 2012 (Spain), FAD Award in City and Landscape 2012 (Spain), Biennial Prize for Urban Project - XIII International Biennale of Architecture in Buenos Aires 2011 (Argentina), Finalist Dutch Design Awards 2011 (NL), Golden Swing Award 2010 (Spain)
Adriaan Geuze, Christian Dobrick, Edzo Bindels, Alexander Sverdlov, Claudia Wolsfeld, Enrique Ibáñez González, Freek Boerwinkel, Joost Koningen, Juan Figueroa Calero, Karsten Buchholz, Lennart van Dijk, Luna Solas, Marco Garcia, Mariana Siqueira, Marta Roy, Martin Biewenga, Michael Gersbach, Perry Maas, Riccardo Minghini, Sander Lap, Shachar Zur