Court of Machines
Estacion de Chamartin

Madrid, Spain

Rather than fading into the background as simply a place of passage, the Chamartin station opens up to the world while maintaining its connection to the landscape and integration into the urban fabric. The presence of typical street commercial space as well as a hotel under the same roof as the train station incorporates the life of Madrid even more into the activities of travel by rail.

Entering the station changes the visual perspective of the train tracks and the mental perception of the train station as a public building by taking away the feeling of traveling, and replacing it with the experience of simply being in Madrid. By integrating city life into the station, this project argues that the trains themselves should be the places purely of passage, while the station should be integrated into the urban fabric just as any other institution. The angled ceiling spans are at alternating heights to provide a more varied quality of light throughout the day and define different places of transition within the station without using vertical partitions, enhancing the openness of the space.

The landscape is intimately connected to the train station by a boardwalk characterized by an unfocused direction, as the path stretches from one side of the park to the other. It slowly steps down until it reaches street level at the very south, allowing the spans of the station to unfold into the landscape. The large width and gentle slope of the path ensure that this space is easily inhabitable for leisure activities, and not just for circulation.