Relocation of the Mata Espesa Forts to a new site on the Ifema Valdebebas plot

Relocation of the Mata Espesa Forts to a new site on the Ifema Valdebebas plot

The Mata Espesa Forts have been relocated to the western end of the Cerro del Castillo plot which forms part of the Ifema expansion area. This work gives greater visibility to these remains of the Civil War and facilitates public access. The work is the centrepiece of a museum-like space that reflects what the fortification and its surroundings were like.

Ifema – Feria de Madrid
2020 - 2021
Type of service:
Building maintenance and rehabilitation
Quadrangular and one metre thick, the Mata Espesa Forts served as a point of defence for the Republicans during the Civil War, but they fell into disrepair over time. Due to their location and because of the expansion of Ifema in Valdebebas, it was decided to relocate them by 200 metres. Two self-propelled cranes weighing 250 T each and working in tandem were proposed for the hoisting manoeuvre.  
Prior to the procedure, it was necessary to ensure the circulation of the fort transport carriage, so 2,800 m³ of earthworks and 340 m³ of embankment were conducted for this purpose. The main beams were placed under the walls of the forts, while the tie beams were welded to a metal frame. Each fort was lifted, moved horizontally and unloaded on the platform in tandem. 
After removing graffiti, soot and other stains from the surface of the forts, three trenches similar to the original ones were dug under archaeological supervision and the brick structure that supported the machine guns was moved. The works included the following aspects: 
• Two ramps to facilitate access for people with reduced mobility. 
• Enclosure fencing and fall protection. 
• Reserve channelling for possible access control. 
• Surface treatment of the enclosure with gravel and root control sheeting. 

Technical data

Dimension and weight of the forts 
Two mass concrete units of approximately 4 x 4 x 4 m and weighing 115 t each. 
Hoisting and moving aids 

Two 250 t self-propelled cranes working in tandem. 
A transport carriage.
Ancillary hoisting structure 
Upper and lower frame made of HEB 340 and 450 laminated profiles with stiffening brackets. 
Filling with high-strength, shrinkage-compensated thixotropic mortar (Rc > 50 N/mm2 at 28 days). 
ET endless tubular polyester slings, max. load 50 t.
Rustic brickwork at the machine gun support base. 
Information panels, benches and bins. 
Creation of water point. 
Preinstallation of lighting and drinking water services. 
Piping and drainage system works.