Rushing streams weave their way under azure skies through the green mountains around Madrid, whilst the historic central plazas of Spain draw neighbourhoods together; these inspired the elegant fluidity & colour palette of Oasiz Madrid, a landscape & people-led, mixed-use retail destination that is foremost a park. The site drives footfall by activating & connecting two visually interlinked lakes surrounded by a landscape of wetland, terraced decks, meeting plazas & entertainment spaces.

Fun & contemporary, the space is a fluid story of experiences. An open-air stage, urban beach, sculptures, oversized bean bags, a zip line, hammocks & fountains provide surprising pockets of play & delight. After dark, a sparkling array of colourful LEDS & interventions draw creative buzz to the plazas & water’s edge. Sinuous paths direct visitors in a flowing movement, punctuated by sensory garden nodes that evoke immersive, intangible experiences such as memory.

Oasiz Madrid’s landscape design reflects the zeitgeist, becoming a new benchmark of contemporary commercial destinations in Europe.

Known for pushing boundaries of the ‘retail’ space offer, developer Compagnie de Phalsbourg sought to explore new horizons that embodied their pillars of exceptional architecture, ecology, user well-being & digital accessibility. Built in Madrid’s Torrejón de Ardoz region, Oasiz would be designed to service 8m visitors/year including 3.5m locally. The landscape brief was to create an innovative retail environment with a fresh take on maximising landscape-led green & open space, creating active public realm whilst drawing footfall. A holistic approach to end-user needs & ecology would result in a commercial park and resort rather than a retail mall, & a landscape destination in its own right.

Innovative in concept & construction; Oasiz was designed to ensure a minimal carbon footprint from the outset.

Planting was sourced locally from a palette of largely native species, at mature size, for maximum visual impact & to offer temperature reducing/shading properties from day one. Over 100,000 trees, shrubs and groundcovers create a lush landscape that is reflected in the lakes, whilst 5000m2 of green roof helps to purify & cool the air. The interiors ‘borrow’ this revitalising forest experience through 8m high glass frontages on the active retail/f&b edges. Combined with the 2000m2 of spill-out terrace, this blurs the boundaries between public & commercial space.

Thermal comfort was a major consideration with Madrid’s hot dry summers. A combination of shading mature tree canopies &, the lakes & moving water create an impactful cooling microclimate. Amongst the sustainable design elements are: roof gardens with sedum planting irrigated by rainwater, reducing the heat island effect & improving air quality; decking made from compressed, thermally treated bamboo; wetland habitat that attracts birds; recycling of lake water for a fire water reserve supply to the buildings, air conditioning supply & car park ventilation; and, ten wind turbines & photocatalytic panels covering 8000m2 which power the centre’s lighting & other systems reducing demand from the national grid by 40% in the common areas. The planting palette is comprised of species with naturally low water demand reducing irrigation, & all landscape materials were sourced from local suppliers reducing the project’s carbon footprint & supporting the local economy. A BREEAM Excellent rating reflects the design team’s innovation & commitment.

To activate the landscape with a diverse crowd of all ages & serve the local community, the exterior offer was designed to be social & immersive. Three main character zones ‘Lake, Beach and Promenade’ cater to varied scales of retail and leisure offering. A hectare of open water provides boat trips, thrilling overhead zipline rides & a half-hourly fountain show. There are relaxation & gathering spaces for quieter crowd-free moments whilst half an acre of free play activities is provided for children. An urban beach provides chill-out space for fashionistas, a fun ‘construction site’ for children in mini-diggers & even a wedding venue. Co-working space diversifies the land-use, utilising the biophilic setting to create a stress-free working environment whilst a continuous cultural programme runs throughout the year utilising an outdoor stage & giant screen.

The project’s positive community impact is a direct result of the innovative concept & considered accessibility; reachable easily by bus, train or metro, a new family-friendly outdoor environment has been created, providing opportunity for new businesses to open, local jobs to be created & tourism boosted.

Oasiz is a new Madrid landmark, bringing people & nature together in a playful and innovative way so that each visit is a new exploration, memory & different experience. This verdant 25ha lifestyle destination is the largest of its kind in Spain, a regional draw & a cultural celebration.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Gianni Ranaulo Design

Others to mention:

Client: Compagnie de Phalsbourg

Local Lead Architect and Architect of Record: Cabeza Sastre

Horticultural and Landscape Consultants: Atelier Paul Arène

Lighting Designers: Delta Lighting Design

Location: Av. Premios Nobel, 5, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain

Design year: 2018

Year Completed: 2021

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