An icon cut from a carpet

Sharon McHugh
Friday 13 Feb 2009

Herzog & de Meuron unveil design for Madrid bank headquarters

Herzog & de Meuron has completed the design of a new headquarters for Spanish banking group BBVA. To be located on the outskirts of Madrid on a 100,000 sq m site “without qualities”, the commission involves creating a community where there is none and giving BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, an iconic building that will stand out in the skyline.

The design concept proposes creating a small city and artificial oasis on the site. The city is comprised of a series of long thin three-storey buildings separated by alleyways and gardens intended to recreate the effect of an Arabian garden across the site. Into this mix, is situated the main bank building, a disc-like tower, that rises from a green carpet that is the project’s plaza.

The plaza and tower anchor the complex and provide orientation. The main entrance and various communal facilities form an interconnected ring around the plaza. The tower, containing offices with views across the city and the Sierra of Madrid, contributes to the diversity of workspaces.

Light and sun are regulated with overhanging floorplates and a brise-soliel structure, which also minimizes the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. Retractable elements in the roof help to control the temperature of the gardens. Photovoltaic cells on the roof and rain and grey water processing complete the sustainability features.

The 100,000sq m building is due for completion in 2013.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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