Casanova+Hernandez architects | L014_Monochrome Urban Gardens


L014_Monochrome Urban Gardens

Madrid, Spain

The demolition of existing buildings within the historical center of Madrid generates interesting vacant lots defined by the vertical surfaces of the walls of the neighboring buildings and by the horizontal surface of the liberated plot.

After the demolition of the exiting building, the adjacent walls are normally covered by a sprayed polyurethane foam layer that works temporary as a provisional facade protecting thermically and against humidity the adjacent buildings. This layer is protected as well by a vivid color extra layer in order to protect the polyurethane against the ultraviolet rays.

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The horizontal plane of the plot remains normally empty during a long period of time, becoming the perfect place for wild vegetable species to grow spontaneously.

The combination of the spatiality of the vacant plot, the intense coloration of the adjacent walls and the possible covering with a vegetable layer of the plot, provide these spaces with a huge artistic and expressive potential.

The proposal “monochrome” consists of the intervention over specific selected plots of the historical center of Madrid which adjacent walls are colored and protected. Each urban vacant plot will be defined by one, two or three vertical planes and by the horizontal plane of the floor, depending on its urban position (on a corner, between two existing buildings,etc).

Each plot is associated to one color, thanks to the special coloration of the different planes that define the vacant plot.

The strong coloration of the interior space contrasts with the neutrality of the urban facade.

Each plot abandons its condition of ‘death’ and empty space becoming an alive place with a big artistic value.

On urban level the group of interventions emphasizes an always changing net of vacant plots that creates an alive public space, dynamic and characterized by its intensive chromatic variety.

The intervention is based on two main elements: the specific pigmentation made with one single color of the polyurethane foam layer that protects the adjacent walls and the selection of one vegetable species with the same dominant color that covers the floor of the plot.

The vertical planes are associated to one mineral pigment and the horizontal planes to one vegetable species, named in Latin.

Each intervention is named after a binomial: Cadmium Yellow – Helianthus annus, Manganesum Violet – Lavandula angustifolia and Chrome Green – Hedera helix.

The cost of the realization will be very low thanks to the fact that the protection of the adjacent walls is anyway a functional need and that the selected vegetable species will be chosen among the wild autochthonous species.

The proposal “monochrome” consists of a strategy of integrated in the urban tissue interventions, based on functional principles, of low cost and low maintenance, but of huge artistic impact.

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La Casa Encendida / COAM
Landscape Urban Interventions
Competition: Awarded (5 projects selected among 260 proposals)
Awarded (5 projects selected among 260 proposals)