Taking the centre of cities like Brussels, Utrecht, New York or Tokyo as a reference, the Engine Gallery aims to be a reference venue of railway knowledge and its dissemination, as well as space for debate, participation and social interaction where historical trains are displayed but there is also room for the trains of the future.
Located in the south of Madrid —the most alternative cultural area of the capital—, the future train city seeks to position itself and stand out with its own humanistic, technological and scientific identity, targeting families, students, experts or any new users. The intervention required to achieve these goals may be summarised in four action levels:
1 Showcasing the existing collection:
The first action is the elimination of those constructions that have been adjacent to the station over time. They denature the main piece of this collection, i.e. the station as an independent object.
2 Added collection:
The museum should not be limited to vehicles and objects, but rather value both the network and public infrastructure by integrating the characteristic railway settings into the collection: water tanks, a treatment plant, coal bunkers, point levers, hydraulic cranes, railway gantries, etc.
3 New uses and services:
There are different uses in terms of space organisation. The Exhibition use, enabling the collection to grow and be displayed in a coherent manner, ensuring an ever-changing collection. This space may be used for the collection maintenance, which will be part of the museum content. The Informational use will provide a fun way of approaching the railway world throughout smart leisure experiences (simulators, recreation of control rooms, scape-rooms, etc.
It may share a space with the Recreational use. The Research use, related to the corporative part of the proposal, will encompass projects and training courses for companies within the industry. All these uses require especially-adapted spaces in order to develop them. Two new constructions are therefore created: The Electric Traction Pavilion, a modular and extensible container. It consists of a succession of railway gantries providing a large working surface and an open display area.
The Roundabout Deposit, restoring a 15-metre rotating plate, which is essential in order to understand the railway activity. Duly covered, it will house the steam locomotive transferred from the Main Nave and will bring the museum exhibition to an end. Two minor spaces are offered: Las Carboneras (coal bunkers) and the Kiosko. These elements are typical in the railway world and may be used in order to develop different programmes throughout the complex (display rooms, cafeterias, etc.).
4 Tours and accesses:
At the street level, the design suggests an open space, a succession of squares emerging around the collection. An elevated museum tour is designed, starting off at the station and binding constructions through a footbridge that provides a new vision of the collection without blocking the perception of large spans, open spaces, as it is typical in railway stations and, certainly, the essence of these dinosaurs trapped by the advance of the city amidst the urban fabric. Source by AGI Architects.
- Location: Madrid, Spain
- Architect: AGI Architects
- Main Architects: Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea
- Competition Project Leaders: Justo Ruiz Granados, Lucía Azurmendi, Pablo López
- Competition Project Team: Laura Guinea, Gustavo Abelenda, Loreto García
- Client: Ministry of Public Works
- Area: 33,280 sqm
- Year: 2019
- Images: Courtesy of AGI Architects