Herzog & de Meuron presents...
A CARPET of OLD and NEW STRUCTURES
A linear structure of three-story buildings with courtyards, passages and irrigated gardens is laid like a carpet – analogous to an Arabian garden – over the entire site which has a considerable slope. Herzog & de Meuron chose to “internalize” the complex, given that the surroundings didn’t have much identity. There simply wasn’t anything to relate to. The plan on first sight is rigid and repetitive. Through the pronounced topography and the incorporation of existing structures, a complex, spatial pattern appears as if it grew naturally.
The low-rise arrangement fosters communication: people walk around and have informal exchanges. Maximized transparency gives ample daylight, views and generates a sense of community – a place that establishes a balance between the natural and the built and that functions both like a small city and a big garden.
The integration of the existing buildings is one of the most interesting aspects of this project. In contrast to projects that focus on preserving architectural heritage, these buildings were neither of historical interest nor of technological significance; they were simply a substance that would have been irresponsible to destroy. The existing buildings are altered to become part of new structures creating offices and gardens of similar linearity and scale, by either being cut or filled.
A SOUTHERN TYPE of ARCHITECTURE
It is a raw architecture where the concrete structure is prominently expressed. It is a design strongly influenced by the solar conditions, which ultimately results in a southern type of architecture. Along the rather narrow inner gardens and streets, concrete columns and cantilevering floor slabs provide shade from the excessive sun and reduce demand for air conditioning. The full-height but recessed glazing provides good daylight conditions in the offices in order to minimize artificial lighting.
Along the periphery of the complex, brise-soleils are fixed in between the floor slabs. These are cut out in the lower part where sun protection is needed least at an angle to provide better views and daylight. They vary in direction and size according to the solar angles and programme. The sloping site has a subtle yet influential consequence on the facade as the brise-soleils adjust in height.
PLAZA and TOWER
A plaza shaped like a freehand circle is cut out of the carpet. As if this mass was tilted upward, a very slim tower of similar shape marks BBVA in the Madrid skyline. In contrast to the low-rise offices, the tower offers another type of workspace, with magnificent views across the city and to the mountains. Some of the interiors in the
tower were also designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The plaza is planted with trees and surrounded by communal programs. The main entry, bars and a large canteen, a business center and the press room are arranged around the plaza, where everybody meets. Together, the plaza and the tower provide orientation to the entire complex.
Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger (Partner in Charge), David Koch (Partner in Charge)
Nuno Ravara (Associate, Project Director), Miquel Rodríguez (Associate), Stefan Goeddertz (Associate), Benito Blanco, Alexander Franz, Mónica Ors Romagosa, Thomas de Vries, Alexa Nürnberger, Xavier Molina, Enrique Peláez, Nuria Tejerina, Manuel Villanueva, Ainoa Prats Fernando Alonso, Joana Anes, Edyta Augustynowicz (Digital Technologies), Tiago Baldaque, Lucia Bentue, Abel Blancas, Ignacio Cabezas, Aurélien Caetano, Sergio Cobos, Soohyun Chang, Miguel Chaves, Marta Colón de Carvajal, Massimo Corradi (Digital Technologies), Pastora Cotero, Miquel Del Río, Dorothée Dietz (Visualizations), Aurelio Dorronsoro, Margaux Eyssette, Salvora Feliz, Cristina Fernández, Daniel Fernández, Alfonso García, Patricia García, Cristina Génova, Silvia Gil, Jorge Gomendio, Juan Manuel Gómez, Juan José González-Castellón, Ulrich Grenz, Hendrik Gruss, Paz Gutiérrez Plaza, Carsten Happel, Guillaume Henry, Pasqual Herrero, Carlos Higinio Esteban, Dara Huang, Diana-Ionela Toader, Esther Jiménez, Vasilis Kalisperakis (Visualizations), Hyunseok Kang, Yuichi Kodai, Isabel Labrador, Lorenz Lachauer (Digital Technologies), Sophia Lau, Monica Leung, Christina Liao (Animations), Cristina Limiñana, Jorge López, Khaled Malas, Sara Martínez, Aram Mooradian, Natalia Miralles, Argel Padilla, Svetlin Peev, Pedro Peña Jurado (Digital Technologies), Simon Pillet, Tomas Pineda, Pedro Polónia, Maki Portilla-Kawamura, Jaume Prieto, Tosca Salinas, Marc Schmidt (Associate), Alexandra Schmitz, Ursula Schneider, Mónica Sedano, Nicola Shunter, Kai Strehlke (Digital Technologies), Günter Schwob (Workshop), Carlos Terriente, Carlos Viladoms, Raúl Torres Martín (Visualizations)