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Desert City
Desert City

Xerophytic plants nursery and associated uses

Desert City is a complex devoted to xerophytic plants defending “dry” or “waterless” landscaping as a necessary step to take in a semi-desert climate like the one in Southern Europe.

Situated in an artificial/natural transition location between the A-1 highway and the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park, Desert City isolates and connects both realities at the same time, and may be understood as the establishment of an oasis in this transitory situation. The project opens outdoors in a large garden-nursery, which is covered in the greenhouse, protected by a “tensegrity” roof lined by an air mattress with a double layer of “Etfe”.

Organizational invariants are used (courtyard, cloister, bridge, isotropic space...) and the formal grammar arises from the systematization of an industrialized structure and construction. The introduction of these resources is produced according to environmental criteria, so that the complex works by coordinating devices such as double facades, Trombe walls, courtyards, cross ventilation, evaporative cooling, geothermal energy, solar panels, etc., which are evident in use, but not in form.

The plot – originally a wasteland with rubble fillings, has been returned to nature in a regenerative process. The project presents a possible waterless landscape model for a semi-desert climate like that of much of Spain. In the transformation from open ground to garden, not only does a new green public space is achieved (free access), where previously there was only asphalt, but also aspirations of “resistance” against the unstoppable urbanisation of the West. Aspirations that bet on, through the paradoxical “artificialisation of nature”, bringing life to wasteland places, giving them a second chance: frameworks that pretend to be possible models of how we can live together.

Desert City
Desert City

San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain
2016 - 2018

 Design team
Jacobo García-Germán,
Miguel López
Raquel Díaz de la Campa,
Marta García
Laura Carrero,
Martha Sosa Dias
Lidia de Lucas,
Marta Roldán Andrea Gutierrez,
Victoria Álvarez,
Margot Roset,
Paula Lizcano,
Alba Gil, Celia Sánchez
Quantity Surveyor
Mario García
Antonio Usero
Graphic design
Tino de la Carrera - White Rock
Mechanical systems engineering
Úrculo Ingenieros
Structural engineering
Felipe Fernández-Consult-E
Greenhouse roof structural engineering
Arenas Ingenieros
ETFE technical development and manufacturing
Lastra & Zorrilla
Landscape Design
Patricia Gammichia
Mobility and Traffic Studies
Ángel Sampedro
Site Manager
Alberto Charlez
Isolux Corsán
Digital furniture production
109 FabLab
Desert City S.L.
5.366 m2
8.456.300 €
Imagen Subliminal

Desert City

García Germán Arquitectos