Swimming with some of the most notable firms in the industry, UNStudio, with b720 Arquitectura and engineering firm Esteyco, rose to the top of the competition pool with a winning design for Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor.

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A high-rise structure lit up during the evening

Sponsor of the competition, Adif Alta Velocidad (AV), made the announcement this week. Also acknowledging the proposal beat out big hitters like BIG, Foster + Partners, OMA, Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, RSHP and Souto de Moura.

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“We are truly delighted that our design has been nominated as the winning proposal for this extremely exciting urban regeneration project,” said Ben van Berkel, from the UNStudio team. “Madrid is fast becoming one of the most exciting and attractive cities in Europe. The transformation of this area will invigorate this part of the city while adding new green lungs to Madrid. We are thrilled to have worked with the best possible local partners on this proposal, as collaboration was key to our team’s success.”

A building with rounded roof

The international competition began in 2020 with the goal of finding the best plan to transform the Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor railway hub. The focus was to convert it “into an international benchmark for sustainable, multimodal, connected and integrated mobility.” The competition was overseen by 16 judges who made the final nomination in favor of UNStudio, b720 Arquitectura and Esteyco’s proposal. It was a unanimous vote with the design receiving the maximum possible points. It earned high marks for functionality, feasible construction, accessibility, integration into the surrounding area and environmental sustainability.

A subway station area

But what’s old isn’t all being replaced as new. The team felt it was essential to retain the original vaulted roofs of the station as a distinctive element of its previous and future life. Views are highlighted in the design, with a dependence on stepped terraces and balconies to merge the building into the surrounding parks. 

A curved ceiling structure

“Our main focus was to retain and improve the existing station complex and to activate its surroundings with a careful mix of fast and slow program; to design a highly sustainable future-proof urban hub, while densifying and truly activating the area with working, living, leisure and learning. The new station area will vastly improve this part of the city, attracting new flows of people and bringing quality of life in this part of Madrid to the next level,” said Ben van Berkel.

+ UNStudio

Images via UNStudio