in san sebastián de los reyes, a town located just north of madrid, garciagerman arquitectos has completed one of the most significant cactus centers in europe. titled ‘desert city’, the project hosts a wide selection of xerophyte plants within its expansive botanical garden. an indoor greenhouse provides additional space for vegetation beneath a roof constructed with the help of tensioned cables. documented here by imagen subliminal, the complex is open to the public seven days a week and even offers guided tours.

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
all images and video by miguel de guzmán + rocío romero / imagen subliminal

 

 

conceived by architect jacobo garcía-germán as a ‘billboard building’, an elevated longitudinal structure runs parallel to the road and is organized internally by a sequence of spaces articulated around a cloister-like garden. meanwhile, desert city’s greenhouse is topped with a roof canopy that contains a gallery and sales space, a restaurant, a shop, storage, and office areas. consequently, the venue is able to host presentations, conventions, workshops, and exhibitions.

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the venue forms one of the most significant cactus centers in europe

 

 

prefabricated and modular elements have been used in every part of the project’s construction, resulting in a sprawling structure that spans large distances. throughout the scheme, sustainable solutions have been incorporated in order to save energy, including photovoltaic glass, geothermal power, water recovery, and solar control. meanwhile, the site’s extensive planting has completely transformed the nature of the plot, which was previously an unused wasteland.

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
‘dessert city’ is located in san sebastián de los reyes, a town just north of madrid

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the project hosts a wide selection of xerophyte plants within an expansive botanical garden

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the complex is open to the public seven days a week

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
an indoor greenhouse provides additional space for vegetation

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the roof has been constructed with the help of tensioned cables

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the greenhouse contains a gallery and sales space, a restaurant, and a shop

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the venue is able to host presentations, workshops, and exhibitions

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
prefabricated elements have been used throughout the project’s construction

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
the sprawling structure is able to span large distances

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
sustainable strategies have been incorporated in order to save energy

garciagerman arquitectos desert city
extensive planting has completely transformed the site, which was previously an unused wasteland

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: desert city
location: san sebastián de los reyes, madrid, spain
architect: garciagerman arquitectos / jacobo garcía-germán
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
contractor: isolux corsán
furniture: 109 fablab
photography and film: imagen subliminal (miguel de guzmán + rocío romero)
communication: pati nuñez agency

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