MADRID – Madrid-based MTM arquitectos – the initials stand for Madrid Territorio Mutante – strategically planned the design of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid’s campus in the capital and largest city of Spain.

The Spanish studio’s proposal is laid out according to the university’s original plan centred on common spaces so as to ensure, through an integrated and inclusive urban development strategy, accessible focal points which serve to align both Madrilenians and faculty students’ interests, increasing social interactions.

MTM arquitectos’ forward-thinking approach to urban design aims to provide the campus with a legible structure and a distinctive identity. Built form is therefore used as a substitute to hermetic and restrictive borders in order to define accesses, as well as to create the stage for a compelling and spontaneous urban life.

As many as seven bridges were designed to provide access to Plaza Mayor’s uplifting epitome. The architectural promenade extends considerably as it reaches a continuous concrete platform unfolding to allow for convenient access to the project’s various levels. Taller structures stand out and signal the building’s main entrance points.

The 12-m-high horseshoe-shaped roof is conceived as a seamless, inhabitable extension of the adjoining widely-planted boulevard and allows for a strong visual and physical relationship between the school grounds and Cantoblanco-Universidad train station. The roof works as both a scenic and functional outdoor space since it features solar energy collectors.

MTM arquitectos’ thoughtful material selection ensures continuity and connects the building to local design roots. Their intervention remains relevant both within the site and beyond out into its external context as it greatly enhances and frames the site’s natural features and provides a highly-appropriate setting for the functional requirements of such a facility.

Photos courtesy of Roland Halbe