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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“Abengoa staff now enjoy a modern and social environment that complies with the company’s aspirations for sustainable development”

Arup Journal, Jan 2011

Campus Palmas Altas is a new model for an energy efficient business park for Abengoa in the South of Spain.

Abengoa’s objectives for their new headquarters complex were to bring the company together from three different buildings in Seville onto a single site and to use the move to unify and radically change working practices: to maximise communication and encourage cross fertilisation between its various divisions. Abengoa is an international technology company whose primary activity focuses on sustainable development in the infrastructure, environment and energy sectors. The scheme comprises seven buildings, five of which are occupied by Abengoa and the remaining two by tenants who have synergies with the client.

The design creates a more compact and urban in character development than conventional business parks, but also particularly suited to the extreme summertime conditions prevalent in the south of Spain. In total, the buildings provide approximately 47,000m² of office space across highly compact floorplates in self-contained structures between 3–4 storeys in height. The buildings are arranged on either side of a central space which is made up of a sequence of interconnected plazas. The central space unifies all seven buildings and, because of the stepped arrangement, creates a sequence of discrete spaces each of which has slightly different characteristics. In this way, a variety of outdoor spaces ranging from patios to sunken courtyards and terraces, are created which, depending on the prevalent weather conditions, can be comfortably occupied by the buildings’ tenants virtually all year round. The organisation of these spaces aims to reduce the heat load on the building fabric and avoid the creation of ‘heat islands’. The visual mass is broken down by the landscape treatment of the spaces in between buildings.

Colours have been chosen that reflect those found in traditional glazed Andalucían tiles. The structure of each building is formed from in situ concrete with pre-cast elements used for exposed edge cantilevers. The façades are of glass with a ‘floating’ horizontal transom of corrugated aluminium creating a small glazed panel at floor level. Fixed glass louvres of varying densities (depending on orientation) shade the glazing.

Energy-saving criteria are applied across the whole design – from the site layout and the orientation of the campus to the geometry of the buildings themselves, the design of the building envelope and the selection of materials. The design of individual buildings and the linear arrangement of all the buildings maximises self shading, thereby reducing the amount of secondary shading required. Additional measures include photovoltaic panels, a tri-generation plant, hydrogen batteries and chilled beams. It is hoped that the development will become a model for more sustainable office complexes in the future.

“Abengoa staff now enjoy a modern and social environment that complies with the company’s aspirations for sustainable development”

Arup Journal, Jan 2011

Campus Palmas Altas is a new model for an energy efficient business park for Abengoa in the South of Spain.

Abengoa’s objectives for their new headquarters complex were to bring the company together from three different buildings in Seville onto a single site and to use the move to unify and radically change working practices: to maximise communication and encourage cross fertilisation between its various divisions. Abengoa is an international technology company whose primary activity focuses on sustainable development in the infrastructure, environment and energy sectors. The scheme comprises seven buildings, five of which are occupied by Abengoa and the remaining two by tenants who have synergies with the client.

The design creates a more compact and urban in character development than conventional business parks, but also particularly suited to the extreme summertime conditions prevalent in the south of Spain. In total, the buildings provide approximately 47,000m² of office space across highly compact floorplates in self-contained structures between 3–4 storeys in height. The buildings are arranged on either side of a central space which is made up of a sequence of interconnected plazas. The central space unifies all seven buildings and, because of the stepped arrangement, creates a sequence of discrete spaces each of which has slightly different characteristics. In this way, a variety of outdoor spaces ranging from patios to sunken courtyards and terraces, are created which, depending on the prevalent weather conditions, can be comfortably occupied by the buildings’ tenants virtually all year round. The organisation of these spaces aims to reduce the heat load on the building fabric and avoid the creation of ‘heat islands’. The visual mass is broken down by the landscape treatment of the spaces in between buildings.

Colours have been chosen that reflect those found in traditional glazed Andalucían tiles. The structure of each building is formed from in situ concrete with pre-cast elements used for exposed edge cantilevers. The façades are of glass with a ‘floating’ horizontal transom of corrugated aluminium creating a small glazed panel at floor level. Fixed glass louvres of varying densities (depending on orientation) shade the glazing.

Energy-saving criteria are applied across the whole design – from the site layout and the orientation of the campus to the geometry of the buildings themselves, the design of the building envelope and the selection of materials. The design of individual buildings and the linear arrangement of all the buildings maximises self shading, thereby reducing the amount of secondary shading required. Additional measures include photovoltaic panels, a tri-generation plant, hydrogen batteries and chilled beams. It is hoped that the development will become a model for more sustainable office complexes in the future.

The Campus Palmas Altas (CPA) comprises seven buildings providing approximately 47,000 m2 of office space across highly compact floorplates in self-contained structures between 3-4 storeys in height. The buildings are arranged to either side of a central space which is made up of a sequence of interconnected plazas.

The central space unifies all seven buildings and – at the same time, because of the stepped arrangement – creates a sequence of discrete spaces each of which has slightly different characteristics. In this way, a variety of outdoor spaces ranging from patios to sunken courtyards and terraces, are created which – depending on the prevalent weather conditions – can be comfortably occupied by the buildings’ tenants virtually all year round. The organisation of these spaces aims to reduce the heat load on the building fabric and avoid the creation of ‘heat islands’. The visual mass is broken down by the landscape treatment of the spaces in between buildings.

Colours have been chosen that reflect the colours found in traditional glazed tiles in the Andalucía region – principally the cobalt blue to the underside of the glass louvres (the upper face is white to reflect light), the yellow-green to the external staircases, and the red panels to the pavilions. The structure of each building is formed from in situ concrete
with pre-cast elements used for exposed edge cantilevers. The façades are of glass with a ‘floating’ horizontal transom of corrugated aluminium creating a small glazed panel at floor level. This aims to maximise light penetration; light is reflected off the floor surface, whilst reducing glare to the screen. Fixed glass louvres of varying densities (depending on orientation) shade the glazing.

Energy-saving criteria are applied across the whole design – from the site layout and the orientation of the campus to the geometry of the buildings themselves, the design of the building envelope and the selection of materials.

The original competition brief established a very demanding construction budget of €848 per m². From the outset, a number of key elements were identified as the basis for creating a workplace which demonstrated a strong emphasis on quality, in particular: the façades; the planting; the external paving to the plaza and the public spaces at ground level; and the false ceiling.

The interior spaces are essentially defined by the façade and false ceiling, whilst the exterior areas are defined by the paving and planting. The other building elements adopt a very basic and economic form of construction. Once construction was underway, RSHP was able to secure some additional funding for the chilled beam system on the basis of a detailed life-cycle analysis of costs which demonstrated that the costs incurred would be recuperated within the life-span of the system.

For the plaza, the aim was to design a space which appears to form the ground level of the development, even though it is, in fact, a raised deck. The small changes in levels which work their way through the plaza help greatly in creating a feeling of ‘place’, as does the fissure that runs down the centre of the development. This is the only area of the site which does not have any buildings on or below it and thereby permits the planting of large, mature trees.

Working with the manufacturer, we adapted the cladding design to enable it to be modularised. This approach significantly streamlined an extremely demanding construction programme and the period from the casting of the first columns on the ground slab to the time when the company President moved into his office was just 20 months.

Key Facts

    Awards
  • 2015  LEED Platinum
  • 2010  RIBA European Award
  • 2010  AIA Excellence in Design Award
  • 2010  Prime Property Awards: Best Sustainable Real Estate Project, Europe

Show Team

Team

María Álvarez-Santullano
María Astiaso
David Ávila
Stephen Barrett
Stuart Blower
Almudena de Benito
Jean-Pierre Casillas
Pablo Codesido
Eva Couto
Esther Crespo
Marta Cumellas
Ana Belén Franco
Jason García
Claudia García-Nieto

Lennart Grut
Ivan Harbour
Carolina Hernández
Amarjit Kalsi
Juan Laguna
Jugatx Lopez-Amurrio
Carmen Márquez
Mariola Merino
Vicente Molina
Javier Palacios
Almudena Pérez
Bárbara Pérez
David Pérez
Sonia Pérez

Martina Rauhut
Richard Rogers
Irene Rojo
Roberta Sartori
Amelia Seisdedos
Gentaro Shimada
Simon Smithson
David Sobrino
Javier Torrado
Paloma Uriel
Josefina Vago
Luis Vidal
Laura Villa

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Date
2005-2009

Client
Abengoa

Location
Seville, Spain

Construction cost
€132,000,000

GFA (including parking)
96,000m²

Co-Architect
Vidal y Asociados arquitectos

Structural Engineer
Arup

Services Engineer
Arup

Project Manager
Bovis Lend Lease

Landscape Architect
Maria Medina / Estudio 28

Cost Consultant
D-Fine

Client cost constultant
Gleeds

Real Estate Consultant
Jones Lang LaSalle