Proposal for the Mar de Cristal civic square | Connecting the environment, equipping the void

Location: Plaza Mar de Cristal, Madrid, Spain

Year: 2017

Framework: Madrid Decide Competition

 #Accessibility #Proposal




The Mar de Cristal Civic Square is proposed as a place for meeting and exchange, a necessary link in its environment, both at city and neighbourhood level. The large site that characterizes it, today unused and residual, offers the opportunity of the large scale, open space and privileged location to connect public spaces and urban facilities.

It is therefore proposed to value the void, equipping it to leave behind its residual character and become a node for meeting, exchange and integration, but without losing its potential as a place where anything can happen. To this end, the proposal makes a detailed analysis of public spaces and facilities with which the square is related, extending the scope of intervention, and carrying out an analysis of programmatic needs that are resolved through the construction of infrastructures that, far from being the protagonists of the square, accompany it, being at its service.

I. UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY as an identity of Mar de Cristal

The proposal is to turn the Plaza de Mar de Cristal into a public space of reference in Universal Accessibility, understood in its widest conception. Mar de Cristal will be recognized as an accessible place, receptive to diversity and designed from the absolute priority of inclusive criteria to achieve true accessibility; enabling public space to be shared and enjoyed by all citizens, including (and prioritizing) minority and vulnerable groups.

“Design for All implies assuming that the human dimension cannot be defined by means of capacities, measures or standards, but that it must be contemplated in a more global way in which diversity is the rule and not the exception”.

The identity of the place is built from the content and character of the place, with a proposal based on caring and meeting the needs from the Design for All.

II. CULTURE and SPORT as a meeting place for diversity

The Mar de Cristal square has to be an urban nexus and, therefore, its program has to contribute to the construction of a healthy and inclusive social network. Culture and sport are key elements to enrich relationships and quality of life in a society. It proposes facilities that house accessible and nearby sports and cultural uses, that respond to the needs of both the neighbourhood and the city, and that cover the needs of all citizens, paying special attention to those with physical or cognitive limitations.

III. A BASIC intervention for the future

The proposal establishes the guidelines for the proper functioning, avoiding the consumption of building areas or closing the definition of land use, so as not to exhaust the possibilities of the site for future needs. Cities and societies are subject to rapid change, and rather than venturing to predict the future, a response is given with criteria for minimum intervention and maximum impact to meet the needs of the present.

The proposal dossier is available for consultation and download here:

Proposal dossier Translated with (free version)