This will be Parque Central, the future garden of Madrid Nuevo Norte with 145,000 square meters
Image of the Parque Central de Madrid Nuevo Norte project, courtesy of Distrito Castellana Norte.
Image of the Parque Central de Madrid Nuevo Norte project, courtesy of Distrito Castellana Norte.

Madrid will have its own Central Park. The new Central Park of the capital will be visible in a few years. The pharaonic project of Madrid Nuevo Norte, which extends over more than 3.3 million square meters (2.4 million if the part that will be occupied by the train tracks of the Chamartín station is discounted) in one of the edges of the capital, will have a green area of ​​more than 14.5 hectares. That is, 145,000 square meters. Or said in a more hackneyed way: about 14 football fields. El Retiro has 118 hectares and Madrid Río, 121. The forecast of actions and start of works, according to sources from Madrid Nuevo Norte, “is being completed” and will be presented in the month of July.

The winning project of Parque Central has been known this Monday in the park of El Retiro. The best proposal has been that of the Porras Guadiana studio ―also authors of Madrid Río and the new Plaza de España—, which sign a joint project with the Dutch studio of West 8. 40 candidates have presented themselves. “We are making the urban dream of the north of Madrid a reality,” said the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida. “This is a park for the whole city”, added the architect Fernando Porras-Isla. “But if you don’t have proper City Hall maintenance, you can’t sustain yourself. This is a real park that is going to be built on the slabs of the trains. And it will be possible because we know how to do it. We have the ambition to improve the quality of all of us who live in the city”, warned the architect.

The proposed design will feature commercial areas on the ground floor of the perimeter buildings. It will have different areas and environments with kiosks, restaurant terraces, dotacional pavilions, food trucks and sports areas. “An environment that will give visibility to environmental aspects with elements such as rain gardens, pollination flower beds, urban orchards and a large meadow,” says the City Council in the press release.

The new park will surround the four towers and will also connect with the Metropolitan Forest and the Green Arch. “This is very important for a metropolis like Madrid”, explained Porras-Isla. The park, according to the Castellana Norte District, will reduce temperatures between three and four degrees and will have a layout inspired by the legacy of the railway landscape. “It is a spectacular green area that is called to be the Madrid of the future”, Álvaro Aresti, president of the Castellana Norte District, pointed out, adding: “This park is the greatest example of urban regeneration”.

The Garden of the Wind

The future Wind Park, in an image provided by Madrid Nuevo Norte.
The future Wind Park, in an image provided by Madrid Nuevo Norte.

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The park will have an iconic element, which will become a new benchmark for Madrid: the Wind Garden. It is a singular green structure in the form of a spiral that will be erected in the middle of the park and will be covered by vegetation, producing its own microclimate. “This large vertical garden will rise above the height of the treetops to capture rising breezes and channel them through its green envelope,” West 8 landscape architect Adriaan Geuze observed, “thereby reducing the ambient temperature in its interior and creating a fresh space that will become the main meeting point of the park”.

Chamartin Station, in 2025

Aerial image of the new Central Park of Madrid Nuevo Norte.
Aerial image of the new Central Park of Madrid Nuevo Norte.

In March 1975, in what was a small halt, the last stone of the Chamartín station was laid. It was an idyllic modern railway complex north of the capital. It connected Madrid with the north of the country and, 44 years later, it has hardly undergone reforms. Two years ago, on the second floor of the station, the public tender that will carry out its remodeling was also presented. The icing on a key piece in the urban development of the Madrid Nuevo Norte project and the liberalization of high-speed rail in Spain.

To this comprehensive remodeling must be added the 272 million euro tender for the new station hall and the extension of the tracks. These intermediate works will be added to those that were already contracted last year, worth 107 million, in this case to optimize the transit of Cercanías trains. This project is part of the Renfe liberalization process. If everything goes according to schedule, the public company calculates that Chamartín will serve almost 42 million passengers a year.

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