2009-2010. Lara Almarcegui. GOING DOWN TO THE RECENTLY EXCAVATED UNDERGROUND PASSAGE (2009.12 / theoretical data)

Thanks to the Going down to the recently excavated tunnel project, Lara Almarcegui organizes visits to the excavations that are being made under the street of Serrano to construct parking lots. As the works and excavation – which is 15 meters deep- will be in full process, the walls of the excavation will not be covered with concrete and the different layers of stone of Madrid’s subsoil will be visible. For a moment we will be able see the city just as it is beneath the ground.

Madrid has a complex framework in its subsoil made of multiple layers, at different levels. There are tunnels and spaces that correspond to the subway and train infrastructures, water pipes, drains and sewer system, telephone wires, lighting and Internet, subterranean rivers, cellars, parking lots and bunkers. Going down to the recently excavated tunnel of the Serrano parking lots will be an occasion to get closer to other infrastructure tunnels of Madrid; but it will also be a visit to that which is primitive and natural in Madrid.

The project deals with the understanding of Madrid’s physical reality, rock-earth, before becoming a city. In this journey into the tunnel, the negative subconscious of the city shall be experienced. Instead of building, it would be interesting to submerge one self in order to learn but also to simply and brutally do the opposite to what architecture does.

The action will consist in inviting the public to watch a space in process that changes every week and will be completely transformed. The machinery at work is constantly functioning and it only stops one day a week, on Sundays. The visits to the excavation will take place on Sundays from the 4th to the 28th of February.

Details and the schedule for the visits will be available at the Information Point of Madrid Abierto placed in xxxx. Registration shall be made there or sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until the capacity is fulfilled (the capacity will be limited and the registration shall be made 48 hours before the visit. It will be necessary to receive confirmation from Madrid Abierto).

The visit will be made with a guide that will go down to the excavation with the group, and will explain the works of engineering, the function of the machinery and its progress, but most of all, he will interpret and present the geology of the stratums of materials that will be appearing in the excavation.

The works are being made in order to build three parking lots above the future tunnel that will link the Atocha and Chamartin train stations, this tunnel will be 7km long and will be constructed along the next two years. Both projects are part of a plan to redesign the street of Serrano, it includes the transformation of the public thoroughfare, the construction of parking lots and a tunnel.

The excavation that we will visit, will be the third parking lot, which is beneath Serrano, between the street of Jorge Juan and the Plaza de la Independencia or Puerta de Alcalá. Pedestrians will be able to access through Serrano and vehicles will find entrance in Jorge Juan, the street of Alcala and Salustiano Olozaga.

(December 2009)