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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

New Cultural Centre in Madrid, Spain by FÜNDC

June 17th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: FÜNDC

FÜNDC, Spanish architecture and urban planning office, just finalized the largest urban intervention of the last decades made on Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid: The New Cultural Center (NCC) and the new pedestrian area on and around Padre Vallet square. It establishes itself as the origin of the new network of pedestrian spaces.

South facade (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

  • Architects: FÜNDC (César García Guerra & Paz Martín Rodriguez, architects)
  • Project: New Cultural Centre
  • Location: Padre Vallet square and surroundings, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain
  • Client: Pozuelo de Alarcón Municipality
  • Construction: Ploder-Uicesa SA
  • Use: New Cultural Center (NCC), new pedestrian square and streets, 2 level underground parking, underground bus station, underground traffic tunnels.

Night view towards urban space (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

  • Site Area: 10.280 m2
  • Building area: 10.500 m2 (underground), 2.216 m2 above ground
  • Landscape area: 10.280 m2
  • Bldg. Coverage Ratio: 0.10
  • Gross Floor Ratio: 0.21
  • Design period: 2004-2008
  • Construction period: 2008-2011
  • Project architect: FÜNDC (César García Guerra & Paz Martín Rodriguez, architects)

Interior reconstructed and adapted as exhibition spaces (Image Courtesy P. Gil)

  • Structure: structural white concrete structure for NCC contemporary side. Steel structure and     brick bearing walls for classic side. Concrete decks for underground and plaza levels. White structural concrete for mega-treepots. Steel structure for underground usstation.
  • Exterior finish: structural white concrete (NCC contemporary side). White plaster, natural granite stone (NCC classic side). Natural granite stone (square pavement).

Sculpture like volumes (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

  • Interior finish: beech, glass, policryl, structural concrete, polished concrete and several accoustic finishes (NCC contemporary side), industrial beech flooring, glass, policryl ceilings (NCC classic). Steel meshes, polished concrete and structural concrete  ecks (underground levels).
  • Design team: César García Guerra, Paz Martín Rodríguez, Juanjo Unceta Rivas, Marina Otero, Fatima Plaza, Liu Pei, Zuoming Wang, Julia Rodriguez Buján,Diego Ochayta, Gema Edo Viñarás, María Nieves González San Millán, Alexandra Moreno Arranz, Johan de Wachter, Patricia Mata.

South, East and North view (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)


  • LKSSTUDIO, project management
  • MC2 INGENIERIA, structural engineering
  • URCULO INGENIEROS, mechanical engineering,
  • BBA, legal advisors
  • ANDREA ZERWAS, landscape

‘Mega-treepot’ as skylights, Underground view (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

The project has a couple of unprecedented design solutions such as ‘mega-tree-pots’ and a transformable hall. The pots allow for the growth of medium-large trees above an underground parking, making possible green areas where usually just hard squares are found. The hall allows for an use modification on the cultural building program, as it can switch between exhibition promenade and auditorium mode through the manipulation of movable floor decks.

Treepots perimeter (Image Courtesy Anna Pericas)

The built size of the intervention, both under and above ground comes near to 20.000 m2 (65.000 sq. ft.). It consists on the urbanization through a new uninterrupted stone pavement, fountains and ‘mega-tree-pots’ around a New Cultural Center building. The latter is composed of two different architectural typologies, old and new, which work on a symbiotic manner providing traditional and transformable spaces. Under these areas and building a double-deck parking absorbs the vehicle impact working together with underground roads and bus stops, freeing the upper square spaces to pedestrians and bikes.

Hall 1. Configuration concept (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

“This intervention changes the traditional way of understanding new pedestrian areas on built environment as it does not choose between pedestrians or cars but accepts both, re-positioning them.” as explained by architect Cesar Garcia co-author and partner together with Paz Martin of FÜNDC, office originally established in The Netherlands and relocated to Spain. “No need for road restrictions when you can reposition them underground. No need for lack of parking places as you can multiply them on levels. No need for flat hard public squares when you can grow large trees, necessary for urban comfort on this climate.”

Hall 1. Interior (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

The authors also mention that they would not choose between architectures of the past or the future but accept both. They do not position themselves on an extreme but respect the collective memory and presence of existing buildings in combination with the spatial advantages that more futuristic shapes can provide. A new hybrid typology is thus generated on which each part conforms a symbiotic whole on present time. “We believe necessary to unify opinions, or at least start a discussion, with the NCC, in between the figures of final user and architect”

Intervention area (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

FÜNDC has been awarded in numerous occasions with architecture and urban planning prizes, and has developed other large-scale urban projects in The Netherlands (Amsterdam and Eindhoven) and France (Lille). Other realized work to be emphasized is the R13 building in China, built inside the Park of Architecture of Jinhua City; project curated by Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei and Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Hall 2. Interior (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

FÜNDC currently works on other architectural and urban projects linked to culture, art exhibition designs and book design, having as objective the accomplishment of its acronym FÜNDC = Fusion & Union Needed by Disciplines of Creation, as they understand that any product, “from a book to a city” needs to be created with a multidisciplinary approach through the coordination from start of all technical and artistic fields necessary.

Underground South crossing street (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

Exhibition rooms (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

Urban activities under cantilever of Hall 2 (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

Urban activities under cantilever of Hall 2 (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

Urban activities on square (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

Construction phase, underground (Image Courtesy César Gª Guerra)

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