Mardrid (ES) - Winner


Team Representative: María Sisternas (ES) – architect urbanist; Contributor: Roberto García (ES), Sergi Marco (ES), Albert Sánchez (ES) – architects

Avenida Diagonal 177, 08018 Barcelona (ES)
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R. Garcia, M. Sisternas, S. Marco & A. Sanchez 

VIDEO (by the team)



1. How did you form the team for the competition?

Mediaurban is the Urban Content Creation of the Mediapro Group. We are an interdisciplinary team and we work autonomously within the Mediapro Group, with many spaces for collaboration and collision with other creatives. From the 15th floor of the Mediapro building on Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona, in the 22 @ District of Poblenou, we have the opportunity to discuss, think and write with creatives, screenwriters and designers who support us in several of the projects we develop. Throughout our three years of existence as a team, we have developed an enormous capacity to explain in an informative way our own technical and complex ideas, which come from the lessons of the urban and architectural techniques of the 20th century. We are convinced that cities improve if they are designed with an open and diverse mind, very attentive to the most vulnerable groups. But if we want people to be involved in the design of the city, we must be able to explain complex ideas and concepts with images and an understandable language. Furthermore, this methodology requires us to be scrupulously honest with the economy of the media and approach projects from a very realistic perspective. We design ambitious projects, but we thought from the beginning how to make them viable and feasible with the available means and the administrative time and the real budgetary capacity of each municipality. We make a huge effort when explaining our projects because we know that, if they are understood and if we are able to listen to residents and other experts, we generate stronger consensus that allows us to move more quickly towards the stated objectives.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?

We take the Europan contest as an opportunity to deepen our knowledge on urban issues across Madrid. We had worked in the surroundings of the plot, in an urban proposal in Villa de Vallecas, and we had traveled the area several times on foot, with residents and with people who work in the Southeast of Madrid. In addition, one of the team members had grown up and studied in Madrid, so we had a precise understanding of the dynamics that have happened over the years in Southeast Madrid. The area of La Arboleda will transform a residual space between the scars of the infrastructures (train tracks and the A3 motorway). It has enormous potential as a self-sufficient and renatured space, due to its proximity to a benchmark University Campus in Europe (the UpM) and one of the best Public Hospitals in Spain. Both institutions have residential care needs that can be fed back with an adequate urban structure. The strategy consists of Making a City by suturing urban fractures of the motorways and reserving free areas to create a productive landscape of high ecological value with social and curative functions. In short, make the periphery a territory of proximity. At the same time, the surrounding neighborhoods have claimed for years a direct pedestrian connection with the Hospital, crossing the railway line. The project permeates the edges, sutures fractures filling the urban void and shortens distances between the different districts. It starts from the morphological evolution of the metropolis and relies on pre-existing conditions: the project is articulated through two main axes, the road from Vallecas to Vicálvaro and Avenida de la Democracia.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

The area of La arboleda is very unique compared to the planned extensions in the Southeast neighborhoods. First of all, because it is completely disconnected from the environment and the existing plots by the highway and the railway. Secondly, because the site is mostly occupied by a huge hospital closed in itself, whose access is produced exclusively by car, despite its proximity to the dense neighborhoods of Santa Eugenia, Vallecas and Vicálvaro. And we approach this isolation as an opportunity to create a new centrality. It happens very rarely that free land is available around a Public Hospital. And we turn this fact into an opportunity to think about the therapeutic use of the surrounding space. With the right spaces, the care of the healthcare team has been shown to have much more effect on patients. Pavilions to serve specific groups: older people, cancer patients, family members, relaxation of the healthcare team, pediatric care ... Our project creates an urban layout that supports a balanced fabric between empty and full, between open and closed spaces, to house the hospital program that does not fit in the room.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

Cities are open conversations, and our proposal is fed by texts, drawings and built projects that we have reread and visited several times. In particular, the Hospital de Sant Pau i la Santa Creu, by Domènech i Montaner, or the Venice Hospital by Le Corbusier, as well as the literature on open urban systems are sources that have clearly informed our proposal. We were particularly interested by the idea of an open and flexible layout such as the Freie Universität in Berlin as designed by Candilis, Josic and Woods.


5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?

To develop the Project, we have the support of the General Directorate of Strategic Planning of the Urban Development Area of the Madrid City Council, and we will soon meet with those responsible for the Community of Madrid to design the strategy of citizen involvement. In fact, just when we had planned the first operational working meeting with the Community of Madrid, confinement was decreed and now we have a few months to think about how La Arboleda can become a pioneering project in rehabilitation and reinvestment in the health sector. What we are experiencing these days with the Coronavirus pandemic, will profoundly influence the evolution of the project and we hope to be able to apply our own and collective learning to the future urbanization project of the area. We also understand our work as facilitators. We create guidelines, draw traces and develop a layout capable of attracting investments and projects over time. We wish our ideas should serve as inspiration for other actors to develop, contribute and enrich with their concrete proposals the area of La arboleda, called to join the peripheries of the southeast.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Maria Sisternas has already been awarded in past editions of the Europan 9 and 10th editions, for the Lisbon and Santander locations. The previous prizes did not have any continuity but the predisposition and support of the Madrid City Council in this case is total, and we think it is a great professional opportunity, to which we will dedicate all possible effort, even during this parenthesis required by the coronavirus pandemic.



Office: Mediaurban
Functions: Urban planning, architecture, mathematics, big data, graphic design, writing
Average age of the associates: 30 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?

121 Social Housing Dwellings in Ceuta, Proyecto Viva, Spanish Ministry of Housing, Marta Oristrell and Maria Sisternas 46 Social Housing Units in Illa Sibèria, Barcelona City Council, Mediaurban Masterplan for the Magoria site in Sants, Barcelona City Council (1st accessit), Mediaurban First Prize Europan 10, Lisbon, Portugal with Erik Cremers, Marina Berbel, Silvia Sassot and Maria Sisternas Honorable Mention Europan 9, Santander, Spain. Maria Sisternas New Amposta's River Façade. Competition. First Mention. Hector Herrera and Maria Sisternas Cripta Güell Wellcoming Pavillion. Competition. First Mention. Hector Herrera and Maria Sisternas