Herzog & de Meuron
Competition
2007
Project
2007–2010
Phase 1 Realization
2009–2013
Phase 2 Realization
2010–2015

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 Carpet

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

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Process

The design of the company headquarters echoes the squares and lanes of the Mediterranean city and its public life.

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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.

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The shallow depth allows for a direct link to the outside; the levels follow the topography.

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The existing buildings were stripped down to their original structure, new elements added, and the whole integrated into the overall architectural tapestry.

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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.

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The shape of the central plaza, cut out of the carpet of buildings, was upended to form a tower.

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The shallow depth and oval shape allows for circulation and spatial effects reminiscent of Piranesi.

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Construction of the Tower.

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The high-rise building sets a landmark for this complex, which is sheltered from its surroundings by solar sails.

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The shallow depth of many structures allows for frequent vistas through the buildings and onto the city.

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Squares, courtyards, gardens, paths, passages, and stairs create a compact urban atmosphere in the interior.

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Drawings

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Team

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)

Facts

Client
BBVA – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A.
Planning
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
Links
www.bbva.com

Bibliography

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.

Location