Estación Ferroviaria de Atocha, Madrid (1985-92)

Canopies over parking area

Indoor tropical garden

From the Pritzker Prize citation:
"The determination of the Spanish Ministry of Transportation to carry out a total overhaul of the old Atocha Station and quadruple its capacity, and the proposal put forward by City Hall in the Master Plan to free the Glorieta de Carlos V from an existing traffic overpass, are the two poles around which the complex urban piece we might call "Operation Atocha" revolves. The old canopy, the station square, the commuter train station, and the long distance train station make up the principal elements of the project. The roof of the long-distance train station is characterized by the slenderness of the columns which support it, and the logic of its construction in a horizontal plane, composed of thin slabs and beams, including skylights which guarantee adequate illumination and ventilation." ( source )
"This beautiful train station, also known as Estacion del Mediodia, serves Portugal and points south. The exterior structure, built in 1889-91, was designed by Alberto de Palacio  Elissagne, with assistance from none other than Gustave Eiffel. The interior concourse go a facelift in 1992, when the Spanish high-speed AVE trains began service. Architect Rafael Moneo accomplished the makeover largely in metal, glass, and polished stone. Travelers waiting for trains overlook a water lily pond and may sit on benches flanking a tropical garden, misted at regular intervals by slender metal stalks. The garden dates to the original station, and was referred to as "the winter garden." ( source )

"Madrid's classic wrought-iron and glass main rail station was built in 1888-92, to a design by Alberto del Palacio. It remained much the same, gathering a coating of soot, until the 1980s, when Rafael Moneo - he of the Museo Thyssen - gave the station a complete renovation in preparation for 1992, Spain's golden year. Entirely new sections were added for the AVE high-speed train. and Madrid's expanded local rail network. Also, as  well as the building being cleaned up, an indoor tropical garden was installed.  Even if you're not catching a train, a visit to Atocha is worthwhile to see this imaginative blend of old and new." ( source )


This page was prepared and is maintained by R. Victor Jones
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Last updated December 28, 2000