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Satellite Air Traffic Control Center

Built | 2003 | Torrejón de Ardoz | Offices, Infrastructure | Spain is to become the first of the four countries in which the new stations for satellite controlled air-traffic, based on the European constellation of 30 Galileo satellites, will be housed. Located in the outskirts of Madrid, the building should house this new automated guidance system, the centralized conventional control systems and other international systems related to air-traffic technologies.
The site is particularly significant. Situated along the Jarama river, it combines the friendliness of the landscape of the Spanish plateau and the excitement of its horizontal dimension. Close location of runways emphasizes the flat and open dominance of the site.
It is a building open onto the vast landscape. A glass plane overflows the North façade and looks out on at the broad views over the open plain and the flights of the powerful airplanes that use the nearby runways.
It is also a building open to the sky. A parallel slit to the glass façade bathes the internal spaces with controlled daylight and allows views of the starry night. It is a constant reference to flights and satellites.
The roofing is an extension of the existing banks and some of the already existing paths on site. Thus the roof is a continuation of the terrain and its history, the continuation of the plain and landscape. It is the construction of the roofs that turns them into a plateau, the beautiful metaphor that writer Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio proposed for Madrid.

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