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New company headquarters for BBVA Madrid/ES

Based on Mediterranean structures with low-rise buildings and narrow streets, the architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron designed an urban »fabric« for the new headquarters of BBVA bank on the northern periphery of Madrid. An oval tower soars up out of the »fabric« as a highlight and city landmark. A high proportion of glazing with slimline Schüco profiles on doors and façade units allows a large amount of natural light to penetrate the interior despite the high density.

Madrid, Spanien
BBVA – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A.
Herzog & de Meuron SL, Barcelona/ES (Design); CBRE FM Arquitectos, Madrid/ES; Ortiz y León Arquitectos, Madrid/ES (implementation)
Construction period:
Design 2007–2010,
Construction phase 1: 2009–2013,
Construction phase 2: 2013–2015

The design concept for the entire complex is brought to life through the contrast between openness and isolation.

Total area:
Plot 59.125 m2,
Gross floor area 251.979 m2
Main contractor:
UTE Nueva Sede BBVA, Madrid/ES (Drees & Sommer, CBRE FM Arquitectos, Herzog & de Meuron SL)
Façade design:
Schüco systems:
ADS 75
FW 60+ special construction

While the building is internalised and floor-to-ceiling glazing opens up the inside as far as possible, from the outside it seems compact and closed.

The team of architects from the Herzog & de Meuron practice were faced with the challenge of creating a prestigious office complex for 6000 employees in an otherwise relatively characterless district with low-rise buildings and barely any urban structure. The district is characterised by a mixture of office buildings, commercial premises and residential blocks, with a highway directly adjacent to the plot of land. The existing partially constructed buildings, which were already present on the plot, also had to be integrated. Taking into account the few available influences from the surroundings, a sort of three-storey building »carpet« was created which, interspersed with passages, courtyards and garden, stretches across the plot. The existing buildings were gutted, opened up and merge completely with the new structure. Due to a lack of external influences, the design and function of the complex is completely internalised and focuses on itself. A new feature is the oval skyscraper, which seems to unfold from the low-rise base construction. At its feet is a circular plaza, which has been planted with hundreds of trees.

The high-rise tower is visible for miles around and gives the BBVA building its prestigious place on the Madrid skyline. The design highlight of the outer façade of the base structure and tower are fixed sun shading units in five different versions which, in accordance with the path of the sun, are tapered in a graduated pattern in the lower section. This increases the visibility to the outside as well as the natural light penetration. Overhanging exposed concrete ceilings provide extra, natural sun shading in the otherwise fully open storeys. The large-scale glazing on the inner and outer façades of the base structure and the tower were made possible by a special 42,000 m2 Schüco mullion/transom FW 60+ façade system construction. Large glass doors with ADS 75 aluminium frames blend in perfectly with the glass façade. The building is brought to life through the tension between glass and concrete, openness and isolation, as well as the contrast of the materials used.

Five different fixed sun shading units were installed depending on the orientation and the position of the sun.
The architectural development of the entire complex appears intentionally unpolished, almost like a shell construction.
Unclad concrete supports allow the structure to be clearly identified.

Text: Bettina Sigmund
Photos: Schüco International KG