Students, professors and alumni from the School of Architecture, Engineering and Design will lead remodeling work on the Plaza de España in Madrid

Madrid City Council named the winning bid as the proposal entitled “Welcome Mother Nature”, from the firm formed by architects and engineers from the Universidad Europea

Madrid City Council held an event during which the panel opened bids for the tender for ideas to remodel the Plaza de España, naming the winning bid as the project devised by students, professors and alumni from the Universidad Europea.

The proposal, entitled “Welcome Mother Nature”, was chosen by over 100,000 residents from Madrid who took part in the Madrid Decides initiative launched by the council in 2016. The best idea to modernize the Plaza de España, led by architects Fernández-Ordóñez and Porras-Isla, received 63.5% of the votes to decide the best proposal, compared to the 36.5% received by the second-placed proposal.

Welcome Mother Nature” is characterized by being an open, green and integrating square with up to 90% of the area focusing on pedestrians; it will reduce traffic by half, plant another thousand trees, connect the major green areas in the vicinity, dig a tunnel and remove all architectural barriers. In addition to receiving more votes than the over 70 projects initially submitted, the project was also assessed and selected by a jury of expert professionals.

Lorenzo Fernández-Ordóñez and Fernando Porras-Isla have been working together at their office in Madrid for several years, and they currently direct, together with other professors from the Universidad Europea -Pedro Pablo Arroyo, Francisco Domouso and José Luis E. Penelas- a project of the School of Doctoral Studies and Research, to be implemented in the Chinese city of Shanghai, which includes designing seven bridges. The founders of the Porras La Casta studio, Arantxa la Casta and Fernando Porras-Isla, are joint authors of Madrid Río, the prize-winning design of the Manzanares river park, and directed the work together.

In addition to the leading architects, the team also includes alumni from the Universidad Europea: José Caso, Borja García, Laura García, Miguel García, Paula Manzano, Gabriel Martos, Sara Núñez, Jaime Querol and Raquel Serrano, and students Alicia Buades, Mariana Gella, Pablo Ferreira and Ernst Hansen. This group of young professionals is completed with a small number of students from ETSAM and the Toledo School of Architecture.