Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
- Phase 1 Realization
- Phase 2 Realization
At the Periphery of the Capital
BBVA’s new headquarters is located on the northern periphery of Madrid. The site faces the highway and is surrounded by newly built offices, commercial buildings, and residential developments. When the bank acquired the site, eight unfinished office buildings occupied a substantial portion of the land, and as much of the existing buildings as possible were to be incorporated into the new development.
A linear structure of three-story buildings, with courtyards, passages and irrigated gardens, is laid over the entire site – which has a considerable slope – like a carpet, analogous to an Arabian garden. We chose to “internalize” the complex, to design it uniquely around the inner needs of BBVA, given that the surroundings didn’t have much identity, there simply wasn’t much to relate to. The low-rise arrangement fosters communication: instead of taking elevators, people walk up stairs that encourage informal exchange; maximized visual transparency gives everybody a view and generates a sense of community; whilst the relatively small units permit employees to identify with their particular workgroup.
The new headquarters is designed for 6000 pax. Both the site and the scale of the development challenged us to find a radical solution – we choose to create an inward looking oasis in this otherwise anonymous urban landscape, 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 existing buildings are altered to tie in with the new structures, and to create offices and gardens of similar linearity and scale. They are either cut out or filled in to be integrated into the overall “fabric”.
A Southern Type of Architecture
It is a raw architecture, one where the structure is prominently expressed. It is a design that is informed by the strong influence of 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 to prevent excessive sun, which reduces 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 we developed brise-soleils that are fixed in between the floor slabs. Unlike the prominent modern references, these are cut out in the lower part at an angle to provide more view and daylight where protection is needed least- resulting in figurative element that vary in direction and size according to the solar angle and program. The sloping site creates another subtle yet influential consequence on the facade as the brise-soleils adjust in height.
Locating BBVA in the Madrid Skyline
A round like plaza is cut out of the carpet, and then, it is as if this mass were tilted upward to become a very slim tower to mark BBVA in the Madrid skyline. In contrast to the low-rise offices, the tower offers another type of workspace, with views across the city and to the mountains. The plaza is planted with hundreds of trees and surrounded by various communal facilities. Together, the plaza and the tower provide orientation to the entire complex.
Herzog & de Meuron, October 2010
The design of the company headquarters echoes the squares and lanes of the Mediterranean city and its public life.
Initial sketches proposed building fingers that follow the topography. Initial competition models integrated the existing rows of buildings, into which a plaza with a high-rise building was incised.
The shallow depth allows for a direct link to the outside; the levels follow the topography.
The existing buildings were stripped down to their original structure, new elements added, and the whole integrated into the overall architectural tapestry.
The brise-soleils regulate the incident light and shut off the complex from the outside world. Installed between the existing ceilings, they are custom-sized to each location.
The shape of the central plaza, cut out of the carpet of buildings, was upended to form a tower.
The shallow depth and oval shape allows for circulation and spatial effects reminiscent of Piranesi.
Construction of the Tower.
The high-rise building sets a landmark for this complex, which is sheltered from its surroundings by solar sails.
The shallow depth of many structures allows for frequent vistas through the buildings and onto the city.
Squares, courtyards, gardens, paths, passages, and stairs create a compact urban atmosphere in the interior.
- Project Team
- Nuno Ravara (Associate, Project Director)
- Miguel Rodríguez Martínez (Associate)
- Stefan Goeddertz (Associate)
- Benito Blanco Avellano
- Alexander Franz
- Mònica Ors Romagosa
- Thomas de Vries
- Alexa Nürnberger
- Xavier Molina
- Enrique Peláez
- Nuria Tejerina
- Manuel Villanueva
- Ainoa Prats Garcia
- Fernando Alonso
- Joana Anes
- Edyta Augustynowicz
- Tiago Baldaque
- Lucia Bentue
- Abel Blancas
- Ignacio Cabezas
- Aurélien Caetano
- Soohyun Chang
- Miguel Ángel Chaves Gentil
- Sergio Cobos Álvarez
- Marta Colón de Carvajal Salís
- Massimo Corradi
- Pastora Cotero
- Dorothee Dietz (Visualizations)
- Aurelio Dorronsoro Díaz
- Carlos Higinio Esteban
- Margaux Eyssette
- Salvora Feliz
- Cristina Fernández
- Daniel Fernández Florez
- Alfonso Garcia
- Patricia Garcia
- Cristina Génova
- Silvia Gil
- Jorge Gomendio
- Juan Manuel Gomez
- Juan José Gonzalez-Castellón
- Ulrich Grenz
- Hendrik Gruss
- Paz Gutiérrez Plaza
- Carsten Happel
- Guillaume Henry
- Pasqual Herrero
- Dara Huang
- Esther Jiménez
- Vasileios Kalisperakis
- Hyun Seok Kang
- Yuichi Kodai
- Isabel Labrador
- Lorenz Selim Lachauer
- Sophia Lau
- Monica Leung
- Christina Liao (Animations)
- Cristina Limiñana
- Jorge Lopez
- Khaled Malas
- Sara Martinez
- Natalia Miralles Huete
- Aram Mooradian
- Argel Padilla Figueroa
- Svetlin Peev
- Pedro Peña Jurado (Digital Technologies)
- Simon Pillet
- Tomas Pineda
- Pedro Polónia
- Maki Portilla Kawamura
- Jaume Prieto Cuétara
- Miguel del Rio Sanin
- Tosca Salinas
- Marc Schmidt (Associate)
- Alexandra Schmitz
- Ursula Schneider
- Nicola Schunter
- Günter Schwob (Workshop)
- Mónica Sedano Peralta
- Kai Strehlke (Digital Technologies)
- Carlos Terriente
- Diana-Ionela Toader
- Raúl Torres Martín
- Carlos Viladoms Weber (Visualizations)
- BBVA – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A.
- Design Consultant: Herzog & de Meuron SL, Barcelona, Spain
- Artistic Supervision: Herzog & de Meuron SL, Barcelona, Spain
- External Supervision: Virgilio Gutiérrez, Xavier Molina
- Design Project Management: Drees & Sommer, SL, Barcelona, Spain
- Executive Architect: CBRE FM Arquitectos, Madrid, Spain
- Design Project Management: Integral, S.A, Barcelona, Spain
- Executive Architect: Ortiz y León Arquitectos, Madrid, Spain
- Project Management: Hill International, Madrid, Spain
- General Planning: UTE Nueva Sede BBVA, Madrid, Spain (Drees & Sommer, CBRE FM Arquitectos, Herzog & de Meuron SL)
- Cost Consultant: Integral S.A. , Barcelona, Spain
- Cost Consultant: Drees & Sommer S.L, Barcelona, Spain
- Electrical Engineering: Arup, London, UK; Arup, Madrid, Spain
- Electrical Engineering (Auditorium + Entrance Pavilion + Tower): Estudio PVI, Barcelona, Spain; Grupo JG, Madrid, Spain
- HVAC Engineering: Arup, London, UK; Arup, Madrid, Spain
- HVAC Engineering (Auditorium + Entrance Pavilion + Tower): Estudio PVI, Barcelona, Spain; Grupo JG, Madrid, Spain
- Mechanical Engineering: Arup, London, UK; Arup, Madrid, Spain
- Mechanical Engineering (Auditorium + Entrance Pavilion + Tower): Estudio PVI, Barcelona, Spain; Grupo JG, Madrid, Spain
- Plumbing Engineering: Arup, London, UK; Arup, Madrid, Spain;
- Plumbing Engineering (Auditorium + Entrance Pavilion + Tower): Estudio PVI, Barcelona, Spain; Grupo JG, Madrid, Spain
- Structural Engineering: Arup, London, UK; Arup, Madrid, Spain
- Structural Engineering: BOMA S.L., Barcelona, Spain
- Structural Engineering: INES, Madrid, Spain
- Urban Design: Ezquiaga S.L, Madrid, Spain
- Landscape Design: Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich, Switzerland
- Landscape Design: Benavidez Laperche, Madrid, Spain
- Landscape Design: Phares, Madrid, Spain
- Landscape Design: Álvaro Aparicio, Madrid, Spain
- Specialist / Consulting
- Acoustics Consulting: Estudi Acústic Higini Arau, Barcelona, Spain
- Building Physics Consulting: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
- Building Physics Consulting: Arup, London, UK
- Building Physics Consulting: Arup, Madrid, Spain
- Catering: DIMASA, Madrid, Spain
- Facade Engineering: Arup, Madrid, Spain
- Facade Engineering: Enar S.L., Madrid, Spain
- Fire Protection Consulting: Arup, Madrid, Spain
- Fire Protection Consulting: Estudi GL, Barcelona, Spain
- Lighting Consulting: Arup, London, UK
- Lighting Consulting: Estudio PVI, Barcelona, Spain
- Lighting Consulting: Artec 3, Barcelona, Spain
- Security Consulting: SMDOS, Madrid, Spain
- Traffic Consulting: Karajan Ing., Stuttgart, Germany
- Building Data
- Site Area: 636'415 sqft, 59'125 sqm
- Gross floor area (GFA): 2'712'276 sqft, 251'979 sqm
- GFA above ground: 1'222'628 sqft, 113'586 sqm
- GFA below ground: 1'489'648 sqft, 138'393 sqm
- Footprint: 609'613 sqft, 56'635 sqm
- Length: 951 ft, 290 m
- Width: 620 ft, 189 m
- Height: 305 ft, 93 m
- Gross volume (GV): 35'483'327 cbft, 1'004'775 cbm
- Facade surface: 505'128 sqft, 46'928 sqm
Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2007. The Complete Works. Volume 6.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel, Birkhäuser, 2018.
Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografias. Herzog & de Meuron 2013-2017.” Vol. No. 191-192, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2016.
Herzog & de Meuron: “A Single Building and a Multifaceted Town: BBVA, Madrid, a Workplace for the Future.” In: BBVA (Ed.). Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age. Madrid, BBVA, 2014. pp. 263-292.
“Herzog & de Meuron. New BBVA Headquarters.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “AV Proyectos.” Vol. No. no. 63, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2014. pp. 48-67.
Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografías. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2013.” Vol. No. 157/158, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 09.2012.
Guido Musante: “Green Projects. Sette Idee di Sostenibilità. Seven Ideas for Sustainability.” In: Flavio Albanese (Ed.). “Contemporary Architecture, Interiors, Design, Art. Supplement: Domus.” Vol. No. 922, Rozzano, Editoriale Domus S.p.A., 02.2009. pp. 18-22.
“El ‘sol de Madrid’, de dorado a plata.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva.” Vol. No. 122, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2008. p. 5.