A Landscape Node: a green infrastructure in Madrid

Between architecture, landscape and infrastructure

A Landscape Node, is an academic master’s thesis project that emerges in a strategic place. The ‎intersection of the A-3 highway and the commuter railroad tracks separate and make four ‎quadrants inaccessible. One of them is residential: the Santa Eugenia neighborhood in Madrid. Other ‎three landscape quadrants belong to the metropolitan forest. ‎

As a result, the project begins to take shape. It seeks to connect spaces from the vertex as an ‎eco-duct. A plan is proposed, that is adapted in the perimeter to connect the forest roads, ‎respecting the existing trees and merging into the neighborhood. This results in the optimum ‎geometry of the concrete slab. The project builds a small hill, creating a gentle landscape path ‎accessible at the top, which acts for re-connecting natural areas together and to the neighborhood. The slab serves ‎as a canopy for the project. ‎

The project consists of a composting plant, a tree nursery, the Santa Eugenia commuter ‎station, a cultural center and a library. Finally the structure emerges from the concept: the ribbed concrete slab ‎that forms the hill. Its geometry is the starting point and the articulation of the entire project. The ‎dome shape that covers the infrastructures is the result of an iterative process in which ‎these Grasshopper plug-ins have been used: Kangaroo, Millipede and Karamba. ‎


On the structural geometry, which forms the new topography of the site, the necessary paths, ‎water areas and skylights are traced. In the remaining space the native shrub species ‎produced by the nursery are projected. Lands Design was used in the choice of plant species. Thanks ‎to the catalogue and the description of the species, they are catalogued according to their ‎resistance to wind, sunlight and exposure to air with high carbon content.‎ Therefore, these parameters have been used in the plant selection process by Grasshopper.

Parametric design

An algorithm was developed in Grasshopper that performed a sunlight analysis, a ‎detailed wind exposure analysis of each point on the hill, and an analysis of the impact of ‎highway emissions on the upper garden. These three cross-analyses gave us a matrix of ‎points. Thanks to the Lands Design components in Grasshopper, each plant species was immediately ‎placed in the optimal spot on the hill. ‎

The whole design process, plans and documentations were done in Rhino by using Lands Design documentation tools. ‎

Architect: Alberto Ferrero de la Vega, Madrid.