Burgos Master Plan
Burgos, Spain
Project 2004-2006

Urbanistic Tools and Proposals for a Midsize City in Spain: Culture and Tourism
Burgos is a Spanish city with about 170,000 residents, located in the autonomous community of Castile and Léon, approximately 250 kilometers north of Madrid and surrounded by an extremely sparsely populated landscape that is Spain’s breadbasket.

The AVE Line Madrid-Paris
Additionnally to linking Burgos to the European high speed train network the AVE connection will bring the city closer other Spanish cities: Madrid, Bilbao and Valladolid, etc.

The Arrival of the AVE in Burgos
The arrival of the AVE will be important to the city’s structure: the new rail tracks will run outside the city and the new train station will be located on the periphery of the present urban area and the existing tracks will be turned into a boulevard. This new street, which crosses the entire city, will enhance the qualities and value of its adjacent neighbourhoods.

The Task
The task given to Herzog & de Meuron was to give form to this urban planning transformation in the wake of this historical infrastructure project. We were asked to adapt the urban plan to the new circumstances. Our master plan was developed under the incentive of the liberation of the land presently occupied by the train tracks (with particular interest in the area around the old train station, which will become a natural extension of the city centre, and the surroundings of the new station which will become a gateway to the city). In addition, we were commissioned to design an eleven-kilometer-long Boulevard.

Which Urbanistic Tools do we apply in the Master Plan?
Setting out from the existing physical and socioeconomic reality, we have proposed the following arguments for future development:

Density and Public Space
Burgos has a high urban density which creates an urban atmosphere and an intense public space that we perceive as a specific local culture. In addition, density also means more efficient infrastructure, shorter routes, and a more economical use of land. Due to these reasons, we have minimised the surface dedicated to building in the new neighbourhoods. In the neighbourhoods that arose in the last twenty years following very low density patterns we are proposing that density be increased at a later stage.

Flexibility and Mix of Uses
The building sites and profile are defined in such a way that their use or implantation need not be predetermined. Therefore the ultimate mix of uses should respond to the market requirements and to the changes in living standards.

The Monuments
The Camino de Santiago is the urbanistic essence of the city: a sequence of historical monuments connected by a route. We underline the presence of these monuments enlarging the public space around. We have also identified some specific sites along the new boulevard that can serve as points of orientation and where new iconic architecture should be built. The result will be a third linear system for Burgos, alongside the river and the Route to Santiago.

Nature retains an impressive presence in Burgos. Important streets follow the path of its two rivers, a chain of forested hills, capped by the old castle, reaches into the heart of the city. The hills that flank Burgos are part of the backdrop panorama of Burgos.

Nature plays an essential role in the new neighbourhoods too. The boulevard will be a new urban greenbelt that reaches deep out into adjacent neighbourhoods. In the residential neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city, powerful natural geographic circumstances have been treated as design elements that create an own identity for the future neighbourhoods.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2006


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger (Partner in Charge)
Project Architects: David Koch (Associate), Peter Ferretto (Associate), Key Portilla-Kawamura
Project Team: Javier Artacho Abascal, Benito Blanco Avellano, Amélia Brandão Costa, Sergio Cobos Álvarez, Francisco de Freitas, Thomas de Vries, Miguel del Rio Sanín, Jose Gómez Mora, Martin Knüsel, Mireia Martinez Muñoz, Miquel Rodríguez Martinez, Iva Smrke

Consorcio para la Gestión de la Variante Ferroviaria de Burgos, Burgos, Spain

General Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Urban Planning: Prointec, Madrid, Spain

Building Data:
Site Area: 3,500,000sqm
Gross Floor Area: 1,600,000sqm (planned built surface)
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