New Headquarters for BBVA, the first phase will open in July at the first fortnight.

[VIDEO] BBVA. By Herzog & de Meuron. [MAD] Spain.
The first phase of BBVA City, situated in the north of Madrid, is already completed and the first employees of the financial institution will begin to install in the coming weeks progressively. It's estimated that in December 2.000 people will be working. The works of the second phase continues apace and is expected that the new headquarters will open in the first quarter of 2015, with capacity for 6.000 employees.

Project Description from the Architects.

A desert-like non-place.

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. It is a “site without qualities”, a site that is nowhere and everywhere at the same time, a desert-like non-place. When BBVA bought the site, eight partially built structures occupied a substantial portion of the land. As many of the existing buildings as possible were to be incorporated into the new development.

An oasis, 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. 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 workspaces. Both the site and the scale of the development challenged us to find a radical solution – we chose 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".

New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron.

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 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.

Text.- Herzog & de Meuron.


Main architects.- Herzog & de Meuron.
Program.- Reception area (private area of outside visits, auditorium and press room), Formal collaboration area (informal meeting area, centralized printing area, recycling area and office – vending), Restaurant free flow (restaurant and cafe. For Phase 2, will extend the offer with an additional services complex).
Date.- 2013 (inauguration of Phase 1), 2010-2015 (start-end of project ), 2007 (competition).
Surface.- 252.000 m² (constructed area), 114.000 m² (offices and services, 6000 workspaces, 3000 parking spaces).
Site.- Madrid, Spain.

Certification.- LEED (Objective Gold).

General aerial view of the BBVA City with the main building sail in the center Madrid, New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. © tafyr. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.
General aerial view of the BBVA City with the main building sail in the center Madrid, New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. © tafyr. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.
Construction of "la Vela", New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.
Facade´s detail, New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.
Facade´s detail, New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.
Detail of hanging vegetation on roofs of completed buildings in City BBVA´s phase 1, New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.
Diagrams, New Headquarters for BBVA by Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of BBVA. Click above to see larger image.

Herzog & de Meuron Architekten is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog (born 1950), and Pierre de Meuron (born 1950), closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. They are perhaps best known for their conversion of the giant Bankside Power Station in London to the new home of the Tate Museum of Modern Art (2000). Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been visiting professors at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 1994 (and in 1989) and professors at ETH Zürich since 1999. They are co-founders of the ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute, which started a research programme on processes of transformation in the urban domain.

Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by five Senior Partners – Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach. An international team of 38 Associates and about 362 collaborators.

Herzog & de Meuron received international attention very early in their career with the Blue House in Oberwil, Switzerland (1980); the Stone House in Tavole, Italy (1988); and the Apartment Building along a Party Wall in Basel (1988).  The firm’s breakthrough project was the Ricola Storage Building in Laufen, Switzerland (1987).  Renown in the United States came with Dominus Winery in Yountville, California (1998). The Goetz Collection, a Gallery for a Private Collection of Modern Art in Munich (1992), stands at the beginning of a series of internationally acclaimed museum buildings such as the Küppersmühle Museum for the Grothe Collection in Duisburg, Germany (1999). Their most recognized buildings include Prada Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan (2003); Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany (2005); the new Cottbus Library for the BTU Cottbus, Germany (2005); the National Stadium Beijing, the Main Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China; VitraHaus, a building to present Vitra’s “Home Collection“, Weil am Rhein, Germany (2010); and 1111 Lincoln Road, a multi-storey mixed-use structure for parking, retail, a restaurant and a private residence in Miami Beach, Florida, USA (2010), the Actelion Business Center in Allschwil/Basel, Switzerland (2010). In recent years, Herzog & de Meuron have also completed projects such as the New Hall for Messe Basel Switzerland (2013), the Ricola Kräuterzentrum in Laufen (2014), which is the seventh building in a series of collaborations with Ricola, with whom Herzog & de Meuron began to work in the 1980s; and the Naturbad Riehen (2014), a public natural swimming pool. In April 2014, the practice completed its first project in Brazil: the Arena do Morro in the neighbourhood of Mãe Luiza, Natal, is the pioneering project within the wider urban proposal “A Vision for Mãe Luiza”.

Herzog & de Meuron have completed 6 projects since the beginning of 2015: a new mountain station including a restaurant on top of the Chäserrugg (2262 metres above sea level) in Toggenburg, Switzerland; Helsinki Dreispitz, a residential development and archive in Münchenstein/Basel, Switzerland; Asklepios 8 – an office building on the Novartis Campus in Basel, Switzerland; the Slow Food Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy; the new Bordeaux stadium, a 42’000 seat multifunctional stadium for Bordeaux, France; Miu Miu Aoyama, a 720 m² boutique for the Prada-owned brand located on Miyuki Street, across the road from Prada Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan.

In many projects the architects have worked together with artists, an eminent example of that practice being the collaboration with Rémy Zaugg, Thomas Ruff and with Michael Craig-Martin.

Professionally, the Herzog & de Meuron partnership has grown to become an office with over 120 people worldwide. In addition to their headquarters in Basel, they have offices in London, Munich and San Francisco. Herzog has explained, “We work in teams, but the teams are not permanent. We rearrange them as new projects begin. All of the work results from discussions between Pierre and me, as well as our other partners, Harry Gugger and Christine Binswanger. The work by various teams may involve many different talents to achieve the best results which is a final product called architecture by Herzog & de Meuron.”

Act.> : 01/09/2015



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