top of page


Núñez de Balboa 52 car park

Madrid, 2016


Gold Medal Best Space for Events

12nd Edition EventoPlus Awards 2017

1st Prize Indoor Lighting

International Lamp Awards 2017

1st Prize Light Art Project

UK Lighting Awards 2018

1st Prize Best Parking Facility Rehabilitation or Restoration

IPI (International Parking Institute) Awards of Excellence 2018

Winner Lighting Project of the Year

WIN (World Interior News) Awards 2018


FRAME Awards 2018


If Madrid, an extensive paved road network,  could live the surprising experience of discovering its grey basements flooded by the immense ocean's atmosphere, it would probably feel the same fascination that Vasco Núñez de Balboa would have experimented five centuries ago when he looked up and discovered the new sea.

Maybe, after the discovery, it will only be necessary to wait to the end of the day in order to enjoy the pleasure of gazing the magic of a stunning sunset among the cold worn buried walls.


The refurbishment intervention of the 52th Nuñez de Balboa parking in Madrid leads to a time travel. A setback until 1513 that transforms the daily search of a parking space in to the recovery of a new ocean discovery.


From the street, a tunnel composed of some repetitive white light arches blinding over the neutral black wall, invites to get into a completely unknown interior. From the entrance, nothing seems to presage what takes place inside. Halfway, the tunnel expandsin order to divide and provide access to a total of 37 places divided in two levels.


From that point, it is possible to see at the end of the tunnel the bicolour lighted walls in strong contrast with the black and white neutrality. The blue in the bottom half and the intense orange in the upper half, draw a clear horizon line.

This blue lighting, combined with the use of a same colour epoxy coating, allow flooding both floors of the parking with the intense colour  of the Pacific Ocean.


However, it is when we turn the steering wheel to drive to our parking unit, when a huge sunset surprises us, reflecting itself on the floor. A mirrored stretch ceiling covers the last section of the central corridor and generates an optical effect that simulates a complete sun with a semicircular light lamp.


Both floors are 2.95- 3.00 meters high and they are organized in three corridors (parking space-movement corridor-parking space) made up of concrete columns and some downstand beams which perform a leading role in the completed space perception. The project takes the beams accumulation perception as an opportunity and strengthens it by means of some backlit panels acting not only as a general lighting, but also narrating the Núñez de Balboa experience at the moment when he discovered the named Mar del Sur.


In order to illustrate such a feat, the project makes use of the resultant ceiling planes, which perform a main role when we are inside a parked car. The image reproduction, made by using different diameters andmonochromatic circles, allows a perfect perception from this angle, and they become blurred during the entry and exit driving.


After leaving the basement floor, the tunnel anew, and at the end, Madrid rolls once again. Its streets have not breeze remain, there is no trace of the sea.


Design Credits:

Architecture and interior design by CLAVEL ARQUITECTOS

Partners in Charge: Manuel Clavel Rojo / Luis Clavel Sainz

Team: Ana Fernández Martínez, Diego Victoria García, David Hernández Conesa

Photography: David Frutos (BISimages)


bottom of page