Metropolitan Forest Madrid

Madrid, ES

Type Competition (1st prize)
Design 2020
Construction 2021
Location Madrid, Spain
Size 2.121,8 ha
Client Municipality of Madrid
I.c.w. Volterra Ecosystems , Burgos y Garrido Arquitectos, schlaich bergmann partner, David Moreno Cano, Blank Exhibitions

Bosque Metropolitano Madrid will be the city ring of the 21st century. It will be friendly, green, democratic and resilient. It will grow to become a place of inspiring nature, complementary to the urban environment. With its growth, the city´s sustainability goals turn into a mosaic of different forests.

The historical city evolved through a succession of demolition and construction of city walls. Such city limits still exist, and now they materialize in large infrastructures that prevent the urban fabric and the citizens to be connected with the geographical environment of the city. Metropolitan Forest Madrid is a fundamental instrument to transform this reality. It uses the rules of infrastructure, but then as a green infrastructure that is as powerful as the monofunctional rings that currently surround the city.

For the landscape design of the northwest crown, we teamed-up with Volterra Ecosystems, Burgos y Garrido Arquitectos, SBP Ingenieros Consultores, David Moreno Cano and Blank Exhibitions. Our winning proposal ‘Tiempo de Silencio’ is a forestation strategy that guarantees a valuable result at every stage. We used parametric design to realize the many desired qualities and to work with local conditions. The needs of citizens, potential of local ecology, economic potential and the challenges of drought, heat, and pollution all define the future’s forest.

The forest as a resilient system surrounding the city

Detail masterplan Tiempo de Silencio, Bosque Metropolitano Madrid

Madrid’s history serves as base for its future

The north of the Metropolitan Forest connects the Montes del Pardo, Valdelatas and Casa de Campo with each other, relying on the fluvial axis of the Manzanares River and the Valdegrulla and Valverde areas. It adds to that huge system, providing formidable beauty and a very rich history. The calmest and most harmonious landscape in Madrid.

Forests become pragmatic and visionary systems

As a whole Bosque Metropolitano Madrid will have a metropolitan scale, while at the same time each fragment is particular. A consequence of the specificity of each territory it occupies. This flexible and anticipatory forest will establish a playing field, with technical and instrumental restrictions, that can serve many actors.

As a green mosaic formed by different forests 

With today’s technology, we are able to plan and plant complex patterns, that create a natural quality from the beginning. Parametric design allows us to translate all our functional and aesthetic ambitions into parameters and generate unique patterns. It will grow to become a place of inspiring nature, complementary to the current urban environment.

Combining new and existing ecosystems

This project understands the importance of promoting the potential of the existing ecosystems and developing their capacity to house the plant and animal species that are their own. The newly created ecosystems will be able to self-regulate and provide the necessary services typical of each environment, defending it from the effects of climate change.

The city is finally ready to recover

Over time these ecosystems become part of the city, accessible to all citizens to provide them with the benefits of the natural environment. The forest landscape will return to Madrid a biodiversity, ecological functionality and ecosystem services – reduction of temperature, walks, pollination, control of agricultural pests – that disappeared more than 150 years ago.

River forest