In san sebastián de los reyes, a town located just north of madrid, garciagerman arquitectos has completed one of the most significant cactus centers in europe. titled ‘desert city’, the project hosts a wide selection of xerophyte plants within its expansive botanical garden. an indoor greenhouse provides additional space for vegetation beneath a roof constructed with the help of tensioned cables. documented here by imagen subliminal, the complex is open to the public seven days a week and even offers guided tours.
conceived by architect jacobo garcía-germán as a ‘billboard building’, an elevated longitudinal structure runs parallel to the road and is organized internally by a sequence of spaces articulated around a cloister-like garden. meanwhile, desert city’s greenhouse is topped with a roof canopy that contains a gallery and sales space, a restaurant, a shop, storage, and office areas. consequently, the venue is able to host presentations, conventions, workshops, and exhibitions.
prefabricated and modular elements have been used in every part of the project’s construction, resulting in a sprawling structure that spans large distances. throughout the scheme, sustainable solutions have been incorporated in order to save energy, including photovoltaic glass, geothermal power, water recovery, and solar control. meanwhile, the site’s extensive planting has completely transformed the nature of the plot, which was previously an unused wasteland.