Going down to the recently excavated underground passage

Lara Almárcegui

Guided tours: days 28th of february, 28th of march, 25th of april, 30th of may, 27th of june and 25th of july
Schedule: 12.00 h.
Application in: abierto@madridabierto.com

With this project, Lara Almarcegui organizes visits to the excavations being made under Calle Serrano to construct parking lots. As the works and the 15 meter deep excavation is in full process, the walls of the excavation are not covered with concrete, making the different layers of stone of Madrid's subsoil visible. For a moment the public is able to observe the city as it is beneath the ground.

Constituted by multiple layers, Madrid has a complex strata of subsoil on different levels. There are tunnels and vaults that support the subway and train infrastructures, water pipes, drains and sewer system, telephone wires, electricity and Internet, subterranean rivers, cellars, parking lots and bunkers. Going down to the recently excavated underground passage by the Serrano parking lots will not only provide the occasion to come closer to the underground infrastructure of Madrid; it will also be a visit to that which is primitive and natural in the city.

The project engages with an understanding of Madrid's physical reality, rock-earth, before it became a city. During this descent into the passage, the negative subconscious of the city shall be experienced. That is to say, instead of building, to descend in order to learn more, but also, to brutally and simply do the opposite of what architecture does.

The action consists in inviting the public to watch a space in process that changes every week and throughout its complete transformation. The work machinery functions constantly, stopping only one day a week, on Sundays, day when the visits take place- one Sunday each month until June.

The details and schedule for the guided tours are available at the MADRID ABIERTO information center, placed, during February, on the Paseo de Recoletos, and also on the website www.madridabierto.com . Registration can be done by sending an e-mail to abierto@madridabierto.com from Monday to Friday from 10.00pm to 18.00 pm. Applications are accepted until full capacity is reached (there is a limit of 20 people). It is indispensable to receive a confirmation from MADRID ABIERTO in order to complete the tour.

The visit is made with a guide that takes the group to the excavation and explains the works of engineering, the function of the machinery and its progress, but most of all, he interprets and presents the geology of the layers of materials that appear during the excavation.

The works are being made in order to build three parking lots above the future tunnel that will link the Atocha and Chamartin train stations. This tunnel will be 7km long and constructed during the next two years. Both projects are part of a plan to redesign Calle Serrano, including the transformation of the public thoroughfare, the construction of parking lots and a tunnel.


Parking C/ Serrano.

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