The Machine Gallery seeks to be more than just an exhibition space. Taking as its reference the transformation of the centres in Brussels, Utrech, York or Tokyo, it is intended to be a reference centre for railway dissemination and knowledge as well as a discussion centre, participation and social communication where not only the train of the past is displayed, but the train of the future is thought.
Located in the South of Madrid (alternative cultural zone of the city), the future city of the train seeks to position itself and differentiate itself with a humanistic, technological and scientific identity addressing not only families, schools and specialized public but also to new types of users.
Action to achieve these objectives could be summarised in four layers:
- Enhancement of the existing collection.
The first operation is the elimination of the buildings attached to the station over time that distort the main piece of this collection, the station itself as an exempt object.
- Added collection
The museum’s offer should not be limited only to vehicles and objects, but should also enhance the network as a public infrastructure integrating the characteristic railway landscape as part of the collection: water tanks, sewage treatment plants, coal mines, shift levers, hydraulic cranes, railway gantries…
- New uses and services
Exhibition use, which allows the collection to grow and display in a coherent way, thus ensuring a living collection. Space for the maintenance of the collection, with a repair shop that can be integrated into the tour.
Informative use that allows a more playful approach to the railway world through experiences of intelligent leisure (simulators, recreation of control rooms, scape-rooms).
Recreational use that allows the use and enjoyment of the facilities by the citizenry.
To meet these new requirements, two new buildings are proposed:
The Electric Traction Pavilion: A container capable, modular and expandable that shelters this mix-use favouring an enriching contact between all uses. The building is conceived as a sequence of railway porticos that release a large work and exhibition surface, free of structure. They will also be public workshops, business hubs and new museum spaces more linked to the experiential than to the exhibition.
The Rotonda Reservoir recovers a rotating plate of 15 meters, essential for the understanding of railway activity. Conveniently covered will serve to house the steam locomotives moved from the Central Nave and thus closing the museum discourse of the proposal.
The Carboneras and the Kiosk as elements of the railway world that are occupied to add programs along the complex (Exhibition halls, cafes, etc.).
- Routes and access routes
At street level there is an open space with a concatenation of squares that emerge around the added collection. An open-air museum that avoids conditioning the future development of the land between the proposed site and the local roads.
We propose an elevated museum route starting from the station and tying the buildings by means of a walkway that provides a new vision of the collection without interfering with the permeability of the complex.