Recycling Plant

Recycling Plant in Madrid, Spain by Abalos & Herreros, 2000

Situated in the Valdemingómez area of Madrid, Spain, this Recycling Plant for urban waste is part of a larger plan to improve both the social and environmental aspects of the Southeast Region. Designed by Madrid's own Abalos & Herreros, the Plant is only part of a group of projects to create a system for waste treatment and recycling, while also transforming the area to achieve the regional plan's goals.

The project unifies the typically separate components - including selection, processing and treatment facilities, offices, workshops and storage space - under a single, sloping, green roof (click here for plan). In the architect's words, the roof echoes "the gravitational character of the process as it does the original hillside upon which it sits". Aside from the roof, the other major exterior feature is the polycarbonate panels - appropriately recycled. The translucent panels admit light during the day and reverse the process at night, as the Plant admits a soft, yellow glow to the surroundings.

A unique aspect of the Recycling Plant is the incorporation of a museum and a route for visitors to watch the recycling process. In addition to the actual working conditions of the Plant, it also tries to educate the public by putting itself on display. In a way, then, the polycarbonate panels allude to the exhibition of the working processes. With the structure and interior finishes showing environmental sensitivity, the overall project - both building and program - goes beyond other "green" buildings.

Intended to act as a recycling plant for 25 years, the building will either become a service building or dismantled with the parts recycled or re-used. Hopefully at that time the building will successfully change uses, because even though it is essentially an industrial container, it has been designed and built with such care that it would enhance its region, even if it exists as something else.


  1. i am an architecture student and i want do case study of this project can you give me some extra information regarding the planning and working of the space

    1. Sorry, I don't have any materials beyond what you see here. Good luck with your project.


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