Alexandra Kain

Madrid's 'Distrito C' Self Shading Solar Office

by , 05/21/09

madrid, distrito c, telefonica headquarters, sustainable urban design, sustainable corporate headquarters, eco-friendly development

Distrito C is an ambitious project designed to consolidate 40,000 employees in Madrid from Spain’s largest company, Telefonica. The complex includes four phases of three buildings each, for a total of twelve structures. The design and materials for the buildings are identical so as to streamline the construction process and keep time and material waste to a minimum. And by keeping construction and production as simple as possible, Telefonica maintains the clean, unified look the company is after.

madrid, distrito c, telefonica headquarters, sustainable urban design, sustainable corporate headquarters, eco-friendly development

Local architect Rafael de La-Hoz designed Distrito C with the hot Spanish sun in mind. A special type of glass, designed specifically for this project, has been installed throughout as a means of reflecting the sun’s heat. Protruding panels act as sun visors and give the buildings a unique aesthetic character. Connecting each of the four phases is a covered walkway that shades people below. On top of the walkway is the world’s largest rooftop photovoltaic installation–15,300 solar panels capable of collecting 4 million kW hours annually.

Landscaping around the complex includes native plants that require very little water; the water that is needed comes from rainwater harvesting systems on top of each building. Since opening its Distrito C headquarters in 2007, Telefonica has been able to streamline and simplify its operating techniques and reduce local travel expenses.

+ Rafael de La-Hoz

Via Platforma Arquitectura

madrid3

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