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JOSÉ MARÍA EZQUIAGA

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Professor of Urbanism in the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura (Madrid) from 1995. Visiting professor in the Universities of Turin, Rome (La Sapienza), Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, TU Delft, Dortmund, Oxford Brooks, Brasilia, Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá and Medellin), Los Andes y Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá), Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Shanghai.

He has been linked to the city and the urban project from the very beginning of his professional career, taking on diverse urban responsabilities in Local and Regional Administrations in Madrid: Head of the Planning Department of the Gerencia Municipal de Urbanismo of Madrid (1985-88), General Director of Urbanism of the Madrid Region (1988-91), General Director of Urban Planning and Concertation of the Madrid Region (1991-95).

At present, as an independent professional, he manages the office of Ezquiaga Arquitectura Sociedad y Territorio.

Director of the Bases of the Regional Plan of the Territorial Strategy of Madrid (1995) and Director of `Madrid Centro´ Strategic Project 2008-10.
Furthermore, he is author and director of the Regional Plans of Menorca, Lanzarote, Gernika, Durango, East Almeria, Urban Agglomeration of Huelva, Metropolitan Area of Murcia, León, Ávila, International Tajo, Alqueva Reservoir, Gata Mountain Range and Pasiego Territory; the Master Plans of: Córdoba, Burgos, Guadalajara, Logroño, Segovia, Talavera de la Reina, Puertollano, Parla and the Urban Projects of: Castellana Prolongation, Regeneration of the military installations of Campamento in Madrid, North Alcorcon (Madrid), Madrid´s Green Railway Corridor, Manzanares Lineal Park and of the public initiative residential areas of Valdelbernardo (Madrid), Fuentelucha (Alcobendas, Madrid) and El Bojar (Cantabria).

Of architectural note is the project for one hundred and sixty social dwellings in Madrid with the architect Rogelio Salmona for the Municipal Land and Housing Office (2007).

Specialties: Urban Design, City Planning, Architecture

Ezquiaga's MCH Experience

  • Guest lecturer, City Sciences, MCH'2017
  • Specialty Leader. Urban Design, MCH'2018
  • Specialty Leader. Urban Design, MCH'2019

José María Ezquiaga - Projects

Castellana Avenue Extension to the North

Architects:  Ezquiaga Arquitectura, Sociedad y Territorio

Location: Madrid, Spain

Year: 2002-2010

Images/text from: http://ezquiagaarquitectura.com/

 

By the Architects:

Castellana Avenue in Madrid has the character of a real structural axis of the city. In other words, beyond its basic functions as a channel of communication and support for the immediate built fabric, it constitutes a vertebrating piece of the morphological skeleton of the city and a key piece of its mental map, insofar as it brings understanding or order to the city as a whole.The historical construction of the Eje de la Castellana shows that this singular quality is the result of a long and fragmentary process in which initiatives and projects have been decanted around a coherent argument capable of organising the planimetric, topographical, building and functional dimensions of the Via.

The Castellana Prolongation Project constitutes the final episode of this process. It responds, therefore, to the double desire to extend and finish the best street in Madrid and to do so by strengthening its character as the central piece of the city: attractor of the most qualified institutional and tertiary directional functions and, therefore, a privileged space for architectural innovation.

The Prolongation of the Castellana is, therefore, both a project for the creation of a new centrality and an urban reconstruction project, which takes advantage of the opportunity of the obsolete railway and industrial land located in the north of the city to generate a new urban fabric that integrates infrastructure, tertiary and residential functions in a balanced way around the Castellana's main axis.

In the 21st century, the vertebrating character of the Axis as a civic institution cannot be identified with the primitive function of the street as a traffic channel. For this reason, the inspiring argument of the planning is the generation of synergies between an accessibility based on a wide range of public transport means and the new central functions. As opposed to a geometric or merely coincidental compositional criterion, it is the transport nodes (metro and railway) that determine the condensation points of tertiary functions. In a clear commitment to high-rise building with the aim of maximising accessibility and minimising land use for the benefit of the residence, endowments and open spaces.In the "bet" on extending the Castellana, creating a city within the city, Madrid is moving away from the growing trend towards the delocalisation of central functions on autistic campuses in peripheral metropolitan environments and is generating, at the same time, a new space for typological research in which height is not merely an iconic resource but the will to respond intelligently to the organisational demands of the contemporary city.

The arrangement of the Extension of the Castellana responds to a contemporary and innovative urban approach in many aspects among which the following stand out:In the first place, it constitutes an urban transformation and recycling operation that gives value to obsolete railway and industrial land without compromising new consumption of the territory. It strengthens the centrality of Madrid by extending the historical axis of the Castellana towards the north, opening up new space for tertiary and institutional uses of capitalism at a time when ex-urbanisation predominates, that is to say the departure of large institutions and companies from the city limits. It also contributes to the organisation of the entire northern arch of Madrid by making possible transversal communications between Fuencarral and Las Tablas, which until now have functioned as isolated enclaves.

Secondly, the operation is based on public transport, especially metro and suburban rail, ensuring good accessibility with the city and metropolitan area without generating an additional burden of road congestion. In addition, a very varied offer of alternative means of transport to the car, an exclusive cycle lane that covers the entire area, platforms reserved for buses on the main roads and a third of the streets will not admit transit traffic, being reserved for access by residents.

Thirdly, unlike other recent residential growths, the operation is conceived from a mixture of uses. The coexistence of tertiary and residential uses is known in an almost equivalent proportion, but in addition 25% of the available land has been reserved to house equipment and endowments and another 18% to public open spaces. All the land used for lucrative purposes (offices and housing) only accounts for 20% of the total surface area of the area.

Finally, the design has been approached confronting the complexity of the contemporary city by providing three-dimensional solutions (superposition of uses and infrastructures in different planes) that represent a very interesting advance with respect to the usual way of conceiving zoned and two-dimensional urbanism, that is, based on the strict separation of the different uses and functions on the horizontal plane.

The planning of the dwellings also provides novelties with respect to the criteria usually used. In the first place, it assumes greater sustainability requirements, generally requiring the rating of energy efficiency C from the scale established in Royal Decree 47/2007, of 19 January, while strict compliance with the Technical Building Code implies a level D.

Homes and offices are intermingled throughout the operation, so that they do not constitute separate or closed enclaves. The offices are concentrated in buildings of greater height in the knots in which the metro and railway stations converge, while the dwellings occupy a greater proportion of the ground and make up most of the new axis of the Castellana and the space on the underground tracks of Chamartín station.

Secondly, a greater variety of residential typologies is foreseen depending on the different geographical locations of the residence. A more open and flexible layout has been designed in which all the dwellings will have views of the newly created park on the underground tracks of Chamartín station. On the other hand, the creation of a residential façade to accompany the new layout of the Extension of the Castellana is promoted, compatible with a variety of heights and buildable bottoms that avoid the excess of uniformity detected in previous ordinances.

Thirdly, care has been taken to integrate commercially with the dwelling in such a way as to guarantee the presence of a zócalo of proximity shops on the ground floor that also contributes to the use and animation of the streets. Homes and endowments make up integrated units ensuring proximity to the most basic facilities, no home will be more than 300 meters from the nearest school.

Finally, the administrations responsible for the operation have decided to raise the VPP forecasts initially contemplated in the General Plan from 10% to more than 25% of the total housing. This decision, in addition to responding to criteria of accessibility to housing, will contribute in the urban order to a greater social and demographic variety of future inhabitants of the area.

 

Madrid Centro Project

Architects:  Ezquiaga Arquitectura, Sociedad y Territorio

Location: Madrid, Spain

Year: 2009-2010

Images/text from: http://ezquiagaarquitectura.com/

 

By the Architects:

The Strategic Project for the Madrid Centre, carried out at the initiative of the City Council of the Capital, has provided the opportunity to test a new urban planning approach capable of facing the challenges arising from globalisation, climate change and social transformation from the transformation and recycling of the existing city.

To this end. The Project adopts as a strategic perspective the valorisation of the social, economic, spatial and symbolic capital of the Madrid Centre and the understanding of the city from the real processes that configure it and not only from the normative point of view. In order to respond to the spatial and social complexity of the city from an equally complex understanding of urban techniques and interventions. This strategy is articulated around a series of essential axes:

Public space as an organisational system, identity reference and mediating element between the city and its inhabitants.It is necessary to reinvent the local public space as a great argument for urban transformation. The Strategic Project is based on the conviction that the quality of public space is the most relevant catalyst for unleashing the transformation of the city. Consequently, it is necessary to reinvent public space from the perspective of the limitation and rationalisation of the pre-eminence of the private car and the recovery of the street as a citizen space for pedestrian and cyclist mobility, economic activity, rest and encounter. This approach is based on the simplest but richest element of the system of urban public spaces: the street. In the Centre, the street is the reference point for building, the support for mobility and, through its commercial base, the membrane for interaction between the public and private spheres. For this reason, working on the interrelationship between street and building offers the opportunity to exploit the potential of a fabric rich in available space and also opens up the possibility of rethinking the functions, density and volumetric configuration of the urban islet or block. Far from understanding the central fabric as exhausted, the Strategic Project proposes rethinking the organisation of the built space from the point of view of what we have come to call the "new urban cell". This one is based on two essential ideas, appreciable in the planes of new spatial organization of the Center and of detail of application of the proposal to a typical block. Based on the discrimination of transit traffic and exclusive traffic for residents, the creation of environmental areas is achieved in which it is feasible to reverse the unequal distribution of the use of the street between the car and the citizen, which today is concretised in Madrid in a disproportionate predominance of the space assigned to private vehicles. While these only solve 30% of the trips with origin and destination in the central area, they benefit from 70% of the effective space of the streets. The proposal of the Strategic Project offers an alternative, radical but capable of being implemented in an incremental way and with low cost, to the need to introduce limitations to the indiscriminate access of vehicles to the Centre without putting in crisis the accessibility as an essential quality associated with centrality. The structure of main streets guarantees access by public transport and car to the entire urban fabric, but the secondary mesh of streets restricted to residents allows for the creation of a complementary network in which pedestrian comfort, cyclist accessibility, tree planting and economic and commercial activities become the main elements. The new urban cell is also the coherent area for reorganising citizens' access to local services and facilities, an important instrument for correcting geographical inequalities.

The naturalisation of the city as an active strategy for the construction of a new urban landscape.

The Strategic Project attaches capital importance to the recovery of the city's geographical memory. The original topography, watercourses, cornices... have often been overshadowed by the predominance of constructive homogenization and mobility. A good example of this is the destination that the Manzanares River has had for four decades as a support for an urban motorway: the M30.

 

The Strategic Project attaches capital importance to the recovery of the city's geographical memory. The original topography, watercourses, cornices... have often been overshadowed by the predominance of constructive homogenization and mobility. A good example of this is the destination that the Manzanares River has had for four decades as a support for an urban motorway: the M30. The Project proposes the creation of a new local green system vertebrate around the recovery of the Manzanares River, which in turn constitutes the link with the large natural spaces of the region of Madrid: Sierra del Guadarrama, Cuenca del Manzanares, Monte de El Pardo, Parque del Jarama and Vegas del Tajo-Tajuña. This strategy articulates the connection of the large green pieces of the interior of the Central Almond of Madrid through a capillary network of green streets and small squares to configure true environmental corridors inside the city, which would be reinforced with the incorporation of nature into the fabric itself: vertical gardens and green roofs. The aim is to achieve a positive synergy between improving urban quality and mitigating climate change, initiating the change from the central city understood as a sink for energy consumption to a potential producer of clean energies and a sink for carbon.

The Centre as an economic asset of the Madrid metropolis.As a response to the emerging processes of suburbanization, the project promotes safeguarding the location of the institutional, cultural and corporate centrality, understood as an "asset" of the city as a whole and of the metropolitan region. To this end, the Project opts for a "hybrid Madrid", defending the integration of the widest choice of economic activities (traditional and innovative) and commercial activities integrated into the residential fabrics.understanding that this mestizaje constitutes the basis of urban complexity, the Project also bets on making feasible the implementation of innovative activities assuming the economic dimension that cultural and artistic scientific creation has in contemporary metropolises. In this sense, it designs a multitude of actions aimed at facilitating the creation of an attractive environment for the location of people and activities linked to creation and innovation. That is to say, it bets on sustaining the attraction of creative talent on the objective conditions of a complex social and economic fabric and a quality urban space.

Building identity from the recognition of the plurality of a complex city.The Project attributes to the Centre an essential role in the conformation of a shared identity. Historically, this quality has been strengthened by the presence and attractiveness of large facilities and singular public spaces. The Project aims to preserve this asset and complete it with a "Madrid nearby", that is, with the promotion of the mosaic of local identities linked to the melting pot of differentiated social spaces that today make up the city. As has already been mentioned, public space and proximity facilities are thus constituted as key arguments in the new "cellular" organisation of the Centre.

A new culture of public management Finally, the transformation of strategic lines into actions and of these into social, architectural and infrastructural projects demands from public administrations and private entities a radical change in the style of management or governance around three key concepts: Integration: recognition of the plurality of interest and sensitivities present in the Centre. Concertation: to build a shared strategy based on cooperation, institutional and citizen participation and negotiation. Transversality: to construct a complex strategy capable of integrating the local and sectorial visions of both the Administrations and the Madrid Civil Society.

 

UNESCO Panamá

Architects:  Ezquiaga Arquitectura, Sociedad y Territorio

Location: Panamá

Year: 2014

Images/text from: http://ezquiagaarquitectura.com/

 

By the Architects:

The UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan of Panama is a necessary instrument to define and make operational a process of protection, conservation, development, and enhancement shared by all actors and citizens, and formalized through an agreement between all parties with responsibility for the Heritage of Panama.

ObjectivesActive protection of the heritage: Protect the heritage according to UNESCO's indications, seeking to maintain and improve exceptional universal values.

Citizen culture and identity: New citizen culture in a diverse city with greater participation, presence of public space, quality of life and critical capacity.

Economic reactivation: Guarantee conservation by giving a new vitality to the townships of San Felipe, Santa Ana and El Chorrillo.

Social Cohesion: Actions of social rebalancing within the framework of greater solidarity and integration with the rest of the city.

Governance: Coordination between public and private agents, renewed vision of administrative processes and public participation.

The Management Plan is articulated on the space of the isthmus of Panama, a space that has undergone fundamental technological changes. Especially since the beginning of the 1850s, the crossing route of the Isthmus of Panama has been modernized and multiplied by a hundred its capacity to transport men and goods through the Panama Railway and finally, through the Panama Canal inaugurated on August 15, 1914, whose expansion is currently under construction.

The Plan as a model for the management of historical, cultural and environmental resources for UNESCO sites. As an operational and strategic instrument, the plan coordinates the activities carried out by the administrations involved through different actions and strategic lines, making reality the commitments acquired to improve the state of conservation of the sites. This Plan is a technical document that organizes the actions in five Sectoral Plans (Knowledge, Protection and Conservation; Urban Planning, Landscape and Public Space, Economic Development and Cultural Promotion) and, at the same time, articulates them in different strategic lines.Strategic lines according to the different sectoral plans developed in the Plan and applied in Portobelo Bay.

Viviendas El Aguila

Architects:  Ezquiaga Arquitectura, Sociedad y Territorio

Location: Madrid, Spain

Year: 2003-2008

Images/text from: http://ezquiagaarquitectura.com/

 

By the Architects:

The Project is located in one of the oldest industrial districts of Madrid, grown in the shadow of the Atocha railway station. The area is currently undergoing a convulsive process of substitution of economic activities for housing and morphological transformation that make it one of the last interior "expansions" of the central city. Within this framework, the project assumed as a reference the urban condition of an architecture sensitive to context, but from a committed attitude that excludes the routine mimesis of the typologies of the surroundings. This intention determined that it was necessary to modify the conditions of the original urban planning of the plot.

The current planning in the area established a volumetry completely closed to the outside with a building depth of eighteen meters. The project proposes, alternatively, "breaking" the introspection of the block and unfolding the main volume into a curved body inside the block and another in L, with a façade to the perimeter streets, both with depths of around twelve metres.

The aim is twofold. On the one hand, to avoid resorting to a block with a central courtyard and dwellings with a single orientation, making it easier for all the residential units to enjoy the climatic advantages of the double façade. Secondly, to generate a transparency between the exterior and interior of the block that enriches the urban image of the complex by generating geometries and interior transition routes capable of enriching the conventional dichotomy between public and domestic space. The porticoed plinth, destined for trade along all the facades, aims to emphasise this urban commitment, contributing to the vitality of the street.

The construction system responds to criteria of compositional rationality and economy. The reticulated structure is organised into transverse porticoes with 8-metre spans, balanced with façade flights and longitudinal spans adapted to the width of the housing module in order to avoid interior pillars. The enclosure is entirely resolved with a brick factory equipped with an anti-tipper system and latticework on clotheslines. The types of housing have been conceived in voluntary continuity with the fertile rational tradition of social housing generated in Madrid over the last few decades. Starting from the basic module of a three-bedroom dwelling, the typologies are combined to satisfy the demands of the residential programme and the singular geometries of the volumes, without losing the essential compositional guidelines, understood as a non-deterministic structure of reference to the growing plurality in the forms of life and use of the dwelling.

 

José María Ezquiaga - Works

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