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Valdemingómez Forest Park

Imagen Subliminal

From landfill to parklands.


Challenge could be a proper word to review this video, both in regards to the aim of the filmed project and also concerning how the latter has been presented with moving images.

It all started in 1999 when the Madrid City Council closed the old center for waste treatment of Valdemingómez after reaching the landfill its limit in waste reception capacity. A competition was then called for transforming such extensive and degraded territory into a public forest park. Israel Alba Estudio won the competition.

The project integrates four basic actions: sealing the landfill surface, extracting the biogas accumulated inside it, using this biogas to generate electricity and transforming the landfill surface into a public forest park of high biological value. Next to the park stands the Environmental Technology Center, a new public educational and cultural equipment located in a strategic position for the development of the city. A series of public facilities was added after the reforestation: trails, paths, a bike lane connected to the rest of the infrastructure, small woods, picnic areas and two wetland lagoons with areas for observing both the newly developed ecosystems and the city, into which this new area will soon be incorporated.

The natural state which was lost can never be recovered, but the landscape project provides a new topography which is capable of being useful and productive for contemporary society, for leisure or for agriculture, revealing itself as a free space of the new city. The architectural project involved the proposal of new strategies for creating an area which will be open, flexible and dynamic throughout time, in a search for equilibrium between city and nature. Resolving a complex technical problem, producing a new free public space and constructing a new landscape via the creation of soil and the manipulation of the topography were three main objectives the project triggered.

Due to the large scale and the time vegetation requests to grow up, the project is not easy to be featured with moving images, but Imagen Subliminal successfully managed the assignment by balancing areal footage and merging it with the most relevant data of the project, superimposed to the frame, in order to recall the efforts played for the landscape restoration. A cyclist, well identified with his red jacket, embodies a common citizen using the park and its facilities, and by following her the camera offers to the observer a closer overview. Competence in producing architectural short film can be sometimes revealed by the equilibrium of spontaneous tricks.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Israel Alba Estudio
Mentioned project: Landscape restoration of Valdemingómez Waste Landfill (2016)
Project location: Valdemingómez, Madrid, Spain
Collaborators: José María Cristóbal, Javier Martínez, Juan Nevado, Fernando Sanz, José Antonio de Frutos (landscape)
Contractor: UTE Obras Valdemingómez
Photography: Imagen Subliminal
Music: The American Dollar, "Signaling Throught The Flames"

Spain 2016
Duration: 4'26''