Administrative architectures

Madrid. Spain.

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New BBVA Headquarters


Description Technical file

The new headquarters for BBVA bank concentrates its central offices for around 6,000 workers on a plot in Madrid’s outskirts, in the Las Tablas district. Impinging on the large site was a key conditioning factor that formed part of the rules of the International Competition called in late 2007, which was the need to partially incorporate into the project the eight buildings in an advanced stage of construction that were already there. The result is a built complex that escapes the somewhat chaotic and unstructured
conditions of its setting, focusing on providing a solution for the complex functional programme that the
owner required.

An ensemble of low-rise buildings succeeds in intelligently overcoming the major unevenness of the plot. They are configured by a set of elongated office units whose number and width was gradually modified during the period between the competition phase and completion, though never losing sight of the essence of the winning Herzog & de Meuron entry, which through this concentration of low-rise buildings into strips, with streets and interior courtyards, sought to generate an urban, city-like system in which the values of communication, lighting, collaboration and transparency between workspaces played a central role.

The quest to incorporate sustainability criteria as an integral part of the design process, both in terms of passive architecture and in the use of the latest technologies in order to reduce energy consumption, is reflected not only in the building itself but also in the goal of obtaining Leed Gold certification for the complex.

A slightly distorted circular-shaped space, as if sketched freehand to diminish its monumental appearance, becomes a plaza into which run all the streets and courtyards of the complex. It is the central point for communication between workers and spaces, overlooked by both the perimeter pedestrian ring on the first floor and the meeting rooms on the second, all of it connected via a series of helicoid staircases. Emerging from the plaza, with a north-south orientation, is the high-rise building today called “La Vela” (The Sail), after a competition staged among the bank’s workers. The building stands 97m tall, with an interior width of just over 12 metres, a great cantilever to the south to protect it from sunlight and a minimal one to the north for maintenance. Its shape is more or less that of the plaza, giving the impression of having been cut out of a carpet and then raised. Its “excentric” shape both disconcerts and fascinates. The great transparency of its glazed façade and its narrowness make
it fragile and delicate.

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Localización Location: Madrid. Spain. Arquitecto diseñador Designer architect: Herzog & de Meuron. Proyecto de ejecución Execution project: FM Arquitectos / Ortiz.León.Arquitectos. Dirección Facultativa Project Management: Ortiz.León.Arquitectos | Enrique León e Iñigo Ortiz. Dirección de Ejecución Execution Management: Ortiz.León.Arquitectos | Vicente Rubio. Dirección artística Art Direction: Herzog & de Meuron. Coordinación de Seguridad y Salud Health & Safety Coordination: SmDos. Project manager Project manager: Hill International. Colaboradores Collaborators: Jaime Otegui (Director de Proyecto). Fernando Fernandez, Fabián Gonzalvez, Laura Sancho, Enrique Gutiérrez, Ignacio Díez, Julio Muñoz, Mara Antonia Sabater, Cristina Valenzuela, Maximino Ramos, Sergio Martínez, Sergio Cobos, Ignacio Cabezas, Juan Luís Yuste, Juan Antonio Arroyo. Estructuras Structures: INES. Instalaciones Facilities: JG Ingenieros. Fachada Façade: ENAR. Paisajismo Landscaping: Álvaro Aparicio. Seguridad Security: Cueva Valiente. Protección contra incendio Fire protection: Ashes. Fotografía Photography: Rubén P. Bescós.
Suppliers list
Tarima de madera: Pret a
Herzog & de Meuron
Basel, Suiza
Ortiz León Arquitectos