The winning scheme, which seeks to become an “international benchmark for sustainable, multimodal, connected, and integrated mobility,” saw off competition from shortlisted teams, including BIG, Foster + Partners, OMA, Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, RSHP and Souto de Moura.
Titled ‘Open Ecosystem,’ the winning proposal combines adaptive reuse with new architectural interventions. The existing historic vaulted roofs of Chamartín station have been retained due to their status as the “singular and identifying element of the station.” Stepped terraces have been added to the structure to increase the station’s permeability, as have public balconies stepping up and around the arches.
Flanked by newly-proposed towers, the station complex is imagined as a “large urban courtyard” that combines commercial outlets with a transport hub serving trains, taxis, a metro, bicycles, and scooters. According to the team, the proposed interventions will double the capacity of the existing station.
“The transformation of this area will invigorate this part of the city while adding new green lungs to Madrid,” said UNStudio founder Ben van Berkel following the announcement. “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 competition win is one of several claimed by UNStudio throughout 2022. In September, the firm unveiled their winning plans for NION, a sustainable office complex in Germany, while in July, the firm won a competition for a new mixed-use residential development in Romania. In March, meanwhile, the firm was announced as winners for a competition to design a new community-orientated scheme in Düsseldorf.
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