Banking on a sustainable future

FXFOWLE's design for new Santander HQ

by Niki 27 October 2009 Urban design
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    FXFOWLE’s conceptual approach to this new, 40-storey, Class-A office tower serves as an architectural embodiment of sustainability through its integration of nature and technology. Situated at the edge of historic center and within a corridor between the mountain peaks of Sierra Cerro de la Silla and Las Mitras, the design incorporates garden facades on the east and west faces of the tower.

    This design element provides a 'dialogue of green' with the two mountain peaks and extends from the lower roofs to the building’s crown, where planted terraces and a topographical 'Sky Forest' inspired by the facades of the mountains allow for direct views to La Silla and the majestic landscape.

    The garden facades also mitigate solar gain to the tower, a significant climactic condition of the site, and through a combination of measures intrinsic to the design and active systems strategies, the building is projected to use 35% less energy and 60% less water than current Class-A practices. Moreover, the immediate area lacks the density and character to support a coherent sense of place, with a noticeable lack of green space. The architect’s approach will offer a unique amenity to all office tower tenants: the ability to see sky and greenery directly outside their office windows.

    The project has great potential to be an engine of urban regeneration due to the site’s prominence, the unrealised possibility of the surrounding neighbourhood, and the beneficial impact of the proposed program.


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