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Herzog & de Meuron’s Lush Green BBVA Headquarters
Herzog and de Meuron have been very busy lately designing some amazing new buildings in Europe, like their Project Triangle in Paris. Their newest design for the Spanish banking group BBVA will be built on the outskirts of Madrid as early as 2013. The verdant green headquarters will feature luscious gardens and will create it’s own microclimate by using natural ventilation, evapotranspiration, and the shade of the gardens and buildings to create a cool artificial oasis on a desert-like site. The project is meant to function as a small city, encouraging people to walk and meet within the outdoor spaces.
The project is essentially a linear series of 3-story buildings seperated by alleyways and irrigated gardens. The smaller buildings are designed to give employees access to natural light and the outdoors, while the tower rises as a skyward-tilted circle, giving BBVA a presence in the Madrid skyline. The courtyard located around the tower is planted with shady trees and features a large basin of water that serves as a resevoir and humidifies the air.
The alleyways between buildings are generously planted wtih different trees and vegetation to provide shade from the sun and cool the spaces. Floorplates and brise-soleil structures hang above the walkways and keep direct sunlight off workspaces. The ample shade and vegetation will provide a cool, moist microclimate, where every office has a view of the outdoors and the gardens.
Additionally, all the buildings will take advantage of ample daylighting, which will reduce the need for artificial lighting. The slim profile of the 3-story buildings will allow for excellent cross ventilation when windows are open, reducing cooling needs as well. The roofs feature retractable shades and can help reduce the temperature of the gardens, and floors will be heated and cooled with water pumped from the ground. Photovoltaic arrays will be installed on the roofs, and rainwater collection and grey water processing will reduce potable water consumption.
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