Díaz Ayuso announces that the Gran Vía Metro station will open on 16 July
The President confirms the pace of work on the station’s extension, which will include four new lifts and 13 escalators. The new farebox and vending equipment to be installed in the next few days will be the most modern in the entire network. The new connection to Sol station is expected to see 66,000 passengers move through it daily. A replica of Antonio Palacios' original 1920 pavilion presides over one of the canopies located between Montera and Gran Vía streets.
The President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced today that the Gran Vía Metro station will open on 16 July. “Over 1,000 days of waiting may seem like a long time, but when the citizens see the result at full capacity, they will know that it was worth it”, said the head of the regional government, who took stock of the work being carried out at this point.
Díaz Ayuso explained that the project has not been “easy”, and that since the station closed in August 2018 they have had to “deal with unforeseen historical, health and meteorological events”. “But you overcame them because this project is worthwhile”, she said, thanking Adif, Metro de Madrid and the Directorate General for Infrastructure for their institutional collaboration.
The underground station was among the 25 most used in the region and, as the president explained, “took in more than 16 million passengers every year”. Specifically, there are 44,000 users a day, and with the new connection to the Renfe and Metro station in Sol, it is expected to increase by a further 22,000 a day to 66,000.
The project is in its final stages, and the civil works are nearly completed. All that remains is to install the architectural cladding, which is currently under way, and the new equipment. The latter will be installed in the next few days and will be the most modern in the underground network, in keeping with the futuristic design of the space.
The President also inspected the results of the restoration of the ceramic mural in the vestibule, which depicts the original station access pavilion designed by Antonio Palacios, work on which was completed today. The work is the creation of artist Miguel Durán-Loriga, measuring 2.12 metres high and 6.48 metres wide, and is more than half a century old.
After an investment of 10.7 million euros, a radical change has been made to the architecture of the station, as it will have a vertical axis connecting the different levels. It will have a first level housing a new vestibule that will connect and expand the current one from 900 to 2,000 square metres.
There will be a second intermediate transit level, where a museum will display the archaeological remains that have appeared during the excavations. The third level houses a connection to line 5 and a tunnel linking the Gran Vía Metro stop to the Renfe Cercanías Sol stop. This will improve the safety of the station, as it will have two entrances and exits, and will allow the two stations to be linked underground.
The station has improved its accessibility with four new lifts (already installed) and 13 escalators whose electrical and mechanical assembly has also been completed, meaning it only needs to be integrated with the rest of the systems and control stations of the Metro. Meanwhile, 71% of new fire detection and extinguishing systems are already installed.
As for the new facilities, there will be 14 newly created ticket vending machines with a much more modern design. These devices feature large display screens, the option of contactless payment, improvements to the interface design, making the most of the size of the screen, as well as the ability to connect with customer services via video call.
In addition, 17 validation control devices (turnstiles) will be installed, six of which will be adapted for people with reduced mobility and distributed across two halls. These models, also newly created, will take up less space, feature a more user-friendly interface and a screen to inform the user about their ticket validation with graphics and text, as well as LED lighting on the gates, the contactless reader and the floor to inform the passenger about the result of the ticket validation.
Passengers with reduced mobility will also benefit from new accessible features such as easy opening systems on doors, non-slip strips on staircases, Braille labels on handrails, signposting of accessibility elements, double-height handrails, accessible communication intercoms and ceramic visual-tactile flooring to facilitate movement through the stations.
The new vending machines have already been tested in the factory to check their operability and are awaiting delivery and installation in the next few days. This project has been co-financed by the Community of Madrid and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme ERDF 2014-2020.
Red de San Luis Pavilion
Gran Vía is one of the first eight stations that Metro de Madrid had when it was inaugurated in October 1919 by King Alfonso XIII. Its original name, in 1919 and 1920, was Red de San Luis, before being changed to its current name. However, during the Franco era, it was given the name of José Antonio, and was renamed Gran Vía in 1984.
The most characteristic element it had at the time was the pavilion designed by the architect Antonio Palacios, which served as a landmark to access the old Metro station. The redevelopment of the station includes an above-ground replica, which is nearing completion. All that remains to be done is to install the glass on the metal canopy covering the access area to the street lift.
Located between Montera and Gran Vía streets, it reproduces as faithfully as possible the original solution that Antonio Palacios designed to house the access point to the old station and reclaims the immense symbolic value it had during the years it was in operation. “So much so that we have gone to the quarries of Porriño to bring the same stone that Palacios used in his original work”, explained Díaz Ayuso.
The original pavilion was built in 1920 and remained there until 1970, when it was dismantled and moved to Porriño, the home town of architect Antonio Palacios. The replica maintains the proportions of the initial project. The great canopy will be built with glass and steel and will be completely translucent, allowing light to filter in through the lift shaft. “A semi-circular arch has been built, topped with a coat of arms of the city of Madrid, carved in stone by hand”, the President explained.
Palacios is also the creator of the rhombus logo which, with some changes, is still used today on the underground. He was also the architect of the Cybele Palace, the current headquarters of the Madrid City Council, the Jornaleros de Maudes Hospital, the current headquarters of the Regional Ministry of Housing and Local Administration, and the Círculo de Bellas Artes building, among others.