La Caja Mágica (The Magic Box)

La Caja Mágica is a multi-purpose stadium: en Madrid, Spain. It can be found in the Usera district of the San Fermín Quarter and on the banks of the River Manzanares.

This sports complex is one of the most outstanding and significant buildings in worldwide sports architecture.  Because of its space flexibility and large dimensions, widely diverse events have been held inside: Tennis Masters, other sports tournaments, concerts or en masse meetings.

It has a total constructed area of 113,593 square metres and the project is divided into two main buildings, Caja Mágica and indoor tennis, urban development and parking spaces.

La Caja Mágica consists of three stadiums: a main stadium for seating 12,000 persons, a second intermediate one with a capacity of 3,500 and a third with 2,500. The building plan dimensions are 165 x 159 metres.

The building service areas (changing rooms, washrooms and catering etc) are located below the track level.

La Caja Mágica roof is a fixed superstructure of 7.20 x 7.20 trusses with a 5-metre edge depth in a quadricular format and three mobile zones coinciding with each stadium and which can be folded and moved, thus allowing outdoor and indoor tournaments to be held. The three mobile roofs enable three different situations to be obtained: fully open, half open or fully closed in order to allow natural air and light to enter.

The indoor tennis building is 600 metres long and 30 metres wide, where the Tennis Federation is established, together with a high-performance centre, six practice courts and five for competition, all covered.

The urban development includes sixteen tennis courts (the Tennis Garden) and a parking lot (the Media Garden). The remainder is occupied by an artificial lake that surrounds the building and roadways.

The pedestrian connections joining the buildings together and with the closest environments are made by bridges and crossings.

This project was designed by the architect Dominique Perrault, who has combined high-level technology with environmental respect. For this reason, the pavilions are covered by protective coatings that change with the season, light, temperature and the various events.

This emblematic sports centre has a maximum seating capacity of 20,500 spectators.

Remarkable aspects

  • • It has been presented as the most modern tennis court installation in the world and as the star infrastructure in Madrid's candidature for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
  • The roof is a fixed metal structure with three movable folding zones.
  • The project was designed by Dominique Perrault, who combined high-level technology with environmental respect.
  • The multifunctionality of the three stadiums.
  • The Association of Galvanising Award 2010.

Client: Madrid, Espacios y Congresos

Start date: 04/2006

End date: 11/2009