Unitary Comprehensive Recovery Project of Plaza de España

This project involves work on the outside perimeter of the Plaza de España de San Fernando de Henares by constructing new housing, restoration of the listed buildings which make up the Plaza, creating an underground car park for both the residents and the public beneath the square and also redesigning the whole piazza.


San Fernando de Henares, Spain


Ayuntamiento de San Fernando de Henares


Housing, Parking, Public Place





DSC_3420 2.jpg
Imagen 146.jpg
IMG_0885 2.jpg

Felipe V bought some land to create a Royal Cloth Factory on the site later on occupied by San Fernando de Henares in 1746. The project was carried out during the reign of Fernando VI.

Housing was built around the factory for the factory workers, which would give rise to the current municipality. In front of the factory, a square-shaped piazza was created (currently called Plaza de España) which was joined by an axis with a second square, circular in this case (currently Plaza de Fernando VI). 


In the 1980s, at the initiative of the local government, measures were taken to recover and improve the condition of the complex. What remained of the Real Fabrica de Paños building was restored, the adjoining streets were repaired and pedestrianised, new trees were planted and the use of the squares for cultural activities was promoted.

The Unitary Project for the Integral Recovery of UE-1 Plaza de España in San Fernando de Henares and associated buildings divides the whole of the Unitary Project into 6 ACTIONS:


Rehabilitation of listed buildings in Plaza de España, northern sector











Rehabilitation of listed building in Plaza de España, south sector


Residential buildings, shops, garages and storerooms in Coslada street


Residential buildings, shops, garages and storerooms in Gonzalo de Córdoba and Pizarro streets


Building of dwellings, shops and basement in Pavía street


General urban development

In the present project, it was required to

- Unify and improve the architectural quality of the historic centre.

- To promote commercial activity around the Plaza de España. 

- Improve the parking facilities in the area.

- To rearrange the public spaces, improving their quality by enhancing the qualities of the place as a vertebral element of the city and improving the capacity for use and enjoyment of the Plaza de España. 

- Create an infrastructure for urban services without affecting the paving of the Plaza.


The choice of the different elements comes from the reflection, consideration and analysis of the different conditioning factors that concur in the project: historical conditioning factors, general layout, paving, materials to be used, trees to be preserved, landscaping, lighting, urban furniture, as well as the different elements that emerge from the underground car park: pedestrian exits, lifts, natural ventilation and forced extraction.


The project responds to the recovery of the historical values that were restored, maintaining the central perspective of the Town Hall building, as well as the quadrants formed by the crossing of the main axes. 

A fountain was installed in the centre of the square in the same place as the drinking water fountain installed in 1790.


On the quasi-square shape of the piazza, the two main axes that intersect in the centre are maintained, as well as the trees that flank the east-west, placing the fountain at the intersection of the axes. 

The quadrants are separated by 10 metres from the façades of the listed building by a barrier of trees, thus creating a band of circulation around the perimeter of the square. 


The main axes of the layout and the edges of the four quadrants are orthogonal to the listed buildings. Superimposed on these main directions is a grid perpendicular to the façade of the town hall, which is materialised as lines of lighting on the ground, breaking up the layout of the paving or placing street furniture at the intersection of the two grids. 

Four thematic areas are defined in each of the quadrants, which receive specific treatment. 

- Festival area: the southwest quadrant is left free of urban furniture to provide a flexible space for holding festivities, offering the possibility of temporary installations.

- Youth area: the northwest quadrant of the square receives a treatment aimed at young people. A series of platforms and stands create a differentiated relationship space.

- Children's play area: in the quadrant closest to the library and maintaining the existing use, a children's play and recreation area is defined with specific furniture for this use, as well as a sandpit. 

- Senior citizens' area for relaxation and rest: the southeast quadrant has a more static character, with fountains and seating areas with tables. 


The project plans describe the areas where temporary elements may be installed. 

Two parterres are laid out along the east-west axis in which the existing trees are inserted. 

To reconfigure the central cross and the quadrants of the square, two rows of medium-sized trees are placed in planters made on-site flanking the north-south axis.

A plantation of medium-sized fruit trees is planted in boxes made on-site along the perimeter of the square, limiting the quadrants and allowing the perimeter circulation to be restored.

Isolated olive trees are planted in boxes made on site.


The paving of the square extends to the streets Gonzalo de Córdoba, Coslada and Avenida de la Constitución.  

The street furniture is located and selected to match the general layout of the square: wooden benches, cast-iron litter bins, lighting, children's playground equipment, bollards, fountains, flowerpots, etc. 


Water is incorporated as a fundamental element in the organisation of the square. The ornamental fountains and canals provide freshness, sound and support for the lighting. 3 drinking water fountains complement the square.

Fountains and canals symbolically take up the picture of the two rivers, Jarama and Henares, which have influenced so much the beginnings of the Real Sitio de San Fernando de Henares and want to give testimony to its history.