The Civil Registry of Madrid

First Prize, Competition for the Civil Registry in the Campus of Justice Madrid

There is probably no other building with as much pressure from visitors throughout the Campus of Justice as the Civil Registry. The huge flow of users to the Registry makes natural to perceive it as a continuation of the public space of the Campus. It is difficult to understand the Civil Registry as a building of ordinary offices when, unlike the others buildings located on the Campus, most of its surface is for public access. We decided that the Archive of the Civil Registry, by its importance and size, should become the structuring element and the server of the rest of the space, instead of a mere basement. Circulations become clearer and more efficient if public access occurs closer to the center of gravity. The typical offices building, with its repeated slabs and partitions is a riddle for the large number of visitors that require its use. On the contrary, the Archive, manipulated and raised, can serve as a large structural floor at the scale of the Campus public space, simplifying the structure of the building. The façade surface of the building becomes a third smaller than expected, which leads to savings in construction and energy consumption. The building closes to prepare and use a part of the park: it is almost as if the citizen did their paperwork in the Retiro park. The skin is made by a double layer of ETFE cushions, with a heat exchange chamber inside and programmable solar control devices. The continuation of the park and the public space of the Campus inside the building creates an ideal winter garden for the celebration of weddings. They will have an accidental enthusiast audience as they wait to resolve their own issues.

Location: Madrid, Spain

Author: Angel Borrego Cubero

Design team: Fran Gallardo, Giuliana di Gregorio, Ignacio Fernández Solla, Fernando García Colorado, OVE ARUP Spain

Client: Madrid Regional Government

Year: 2007-2008

Floor area: 13.943 m2

Planning area: 7.000 m2

Cost: 19.581.770 Euros