A Landscape Node: a green infrastructure in Madrid
Between architecture, landscape and infrastructure
A Landscape Node, is an academic master’s thesis project that emerges in a strategic place. The intersection of the A-3 highway and the commuter railroad tracks separate and make four quadrants inaccessible. One of them is residential: the Santa Eugenia neighborhood in Madrid. Other three landscape quadrants belong to the metropolitan forest.
As a result, the project begins to take shape. It seeks to connect spaces from the vertex as an eco-duct. A plan is proposed, that is adapted in the perimeter to connect the forest roads, respecting the existing trees and merging into the neighborhood. This results in the optimum geometry of the concrete slab. The project builds a small hill, creating a gentle landscape path accessible at the top, which acts for re-connecting natural areas together and to the neighborhood. The slab serves as a canopy for the project.
The project consists of a composting plant, a tree nursery, the Santa Eugenia commuter station, a cultural center and a library. Finally the structure emerges from the concept: the ribbed concrete slab that forms the hill. Its geometry is the starting point and the articulation of the entire project. The dome shape that covers the infrastructures is the result of an iterative process in which these Grasshopper plug-ins have been used: Kangaroo, Millipede and Karamba.
On the structural geometry, which forms the new topography of the site, the necessary paths, water areas and skylights are traced. In the remaining space the native shrub species produced by the nursery are projected. Lands Design was used in the choice of plant species. Thanks to the catalogue and the description of the species, they are catalogued according to their resistance to wind, sunlight and exposure to air with high carbon content. Therefore, these parameters have been used in the plant selection process by Grasshopper.
An algorithm was developed in Grasshopper that performed a sunlight analysis, a detailed wind exposure analysis of each point on the hill, and an analysis of the impact of highway emissions on the upper garden. These three cross-analyses gave us a matrix of points. Thanks to the Lands Design components in Grasshopper, each plant species was immediately placed in the optimal spot on the hill.
The whole design process, plans and documentations were done in Rhino by using Lands Design documentation tools.
Architect: Alberto Ferrero de la Vega, Madrid.