2,000 neighbours are wanted!
We presented a realistic, original and low budget solution to the architectural contest to solve the problems identified in Madrid Chueca Metro Station, while at the same time giving to this underground space a powerful, iconic and novel image.
URBAN SCALE SOLUTION
Chueca Metro station is not just another station in Madrid, it is the gateway to one of the neighbourhoods where you can enjoy greater freedom, tolerance and diversity throughout Europe.
Chueca´s neighbourhood is undoubtedly a cosmopolitan and open urban environment, a freedom world reference. In its centre, in La Plaza de Chueca, is where the subway station is located, its most important and symbolic public space, the very heart of Chueca.
We understand that the station responds in an urban way, at “city scale”, in two different ways: as a point pertaining to the network of public transport infrastructures that move the inhabitants throughout Madrid, being a kind of public space buried; and as an object of urban furniture, the mouth of the metro itself, this being a milestone located in the middle of a small, but very representative Madrid square.
Analysing the surroundings of the Chueca neighbourhood and its architectural heritage, we immediately notice that most of the buildings that make up both the square and the surrounding streets are quite similar and are shown as vertical panels perforated by ordered and repetitive rectangles, which are the windows and balconies that open the apartments to the city.
It is precisely the combination of these elements the fundamental characteristic that gives personality to the urban space of Chueca: vertical planes of building facades, painted in a range of reddish-cream colours mostly, with holes of windows and balconies very marked and ordered.
We decided to formally base our proposal on this urban characteristic that gives so much personality to the neighbourhood and especially to the Plaza de Chueca itself, where these rhythms of balconies and windows arranged on cloths of smooth facades, painted in pastel colours, are very present.
We understand the metro station as an “underground public space”. To increase the interaction between the Chueca station and the urban space above it, we decided to make a formal game and create a “link”, an architectural link element that creates an association between public spaces: the buried and the Plaza itself, repeating within the station that same formal feature that defines the urban landscape of the Chueca district, the cloths of smooth façades pierced by holes in rectangular windows.
In order to create more links between the people and its metro station we will ask to participate to the neighbours who want to be part of the final result of the new image of the station.
One of the most important premises of the proposed contest is that the new design of the Chueca metro station is capable of reflecting the special social condition of this unique neighbourhood, “it will be an integrating piece that connects the suburban space with the activity of the exterior, whose essence is based on diversity and tolerance”
Nowadays, the image is very important, and people constantly share photos of themselves on different social networks. We want to reflect this special quality of contemporary social reality by reproducing in our intervention real photos of neighbourhood residents, volunteering to be part of the mural that will decorate the renovated walls of the station.
These photos will be printed on vinyl, which will be placed retro-lit, in the windows of our interior skyline, as if they were neighbours that look out those windows.
This design strategy will get several positive things for the metro station:
- It promotes the social roots of the intervention among the neighbours, since they themselves will be the protagonists of the new image of the station, getting involved in the new design.
- It generates expectation and it is a very good publicity for the intervention.
- We can reflect in a very exact way the social diversity of Chueca district today, since the selected photographs will respond precisely to the different social strata of the neighbourhood.
For this we propose to speak directly with sociologists and consult the statistics, so that we are able to reproduce in the most scientific way possible the social reality of the neighbourhood, reserving for each group and collective a certain number of “windows”, which then will intermingle with the rest, creating social murals very true to reality.