First Sunset in the Pacific. Parking Núñez de Balboa 52, Madrid

Clavel Arquitectos Asociados


The project consists in the renovation of an existing obsolete two-storey car park located in the city centre of Madrid. Three fundamental goals were pursued: making the parking more attractive to potential clients, reducing maintenance costs and minimizing impact on the car park operation. 

The strategy to gather all objectives together was based on the use of light as the essential design element and the fundamental construction material: thanks to its own non-material nature, it guarantees the parking to look changeless throughout the years and allows to unveil the existing building instead of covering it. Besides being a cost effective construction design, it also reduces maintenance costs, since finishes don't get altered over time. 

The project has meant an economic success. Not only because the garage has become more popular among potential users, increasing direct revenues, but also due to a value added effect: the space has turned attractive in itself, which allows to rent one of the levels as an event space. Considering both incoming sources, total facility revenues have increased by 50% compared to before renovation.

The entry, consisting of a tunnel of repetitive white light arches over a neutral black wall, invites the user to get into a completely unknown interior. Halfway, the tunnel expands and divides, providing access to a total of 37 places in two levels.

Right after the user reaches the parking floor, which surrounding walls, devoid of their old tile cladding and exposing their old brick materiality, are lighted half-orange half-blue in order to draw a clear horizon line. This blue lighting, combined with the use of a same color epoxy coating, floods both floors with the intense color of the Pacific Ocean. However, it is when turning the car when a huge sunset surprises us, reflecting itself on the sea. A mirrored stretch ceiling covers the last section of the central corridor, generating an optical effect that simulates a complete sun with a simple semicircular light lamp.

The existing structure performs also a leading role in the design. These backlit panels also integrate the general lighting for the parking space. This way, the rest of the ceiling remain as free planes which are used to show antique portraits of Núñez de Balboa (the person who is honored here), reproduced through monochromatic circles of different diameter: unnoticed and blurred from the central corridor, images become clear from the driver point of view.

Website Menu