Sustainability drives design for research centre in Seville

26 February 2024
Credit: Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bjarke Ingels Group

Bjarke Ingels Group




Building permit granted for new European Commission facility

The Joint Research Centre designed by Tenderstream member Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has received its building permit, giving the go-ahead for construction of a new six-storey building in Seville that will become the headquarters of the European Commission’s international workforce of 400 researchers. The building will house twelve research units and supporting functions, as well as public and private outdoor spaces. 

Located at the former EXPO ’92 site, the 9,900 sq m building ties into the city’s goal to become a global benchmark for sustainability by 2025 and the vision of the eCity Sevilla project to decarbonise and transition the area to renewable energy sources. A notable feature of the new headquarters is the cloud of solar canopies that shelter the plaza, garden and research building beneath, with a design informed by pergolas typical to Seville. The canopies consist of square lightweight PV sheets supported by slender columns, forming a roofscape that cascades down from the centre to a human-scale height at the building's periphery. 

The passive design of the headquarters, with its shallow floorplate and constant shading under the pergola cloud, enables cross ventilation and ideal light qualities that reduce the energy consumption typically used on artificial lighting, air conditioning and mechanical ventilation. Locally-sourced materials such as wood, limestone and ceramic tiling are prioritised throughout, while the overall structure constructed from low-carbon concrete producing up to 30% less CO2 emissions.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG studio founder, states: “With our design for the Joint Research Centre in Sevilla we have attempted to allow the sustainable performance of the building to drive an architectural aesthetic that not only makes the building perform better but also makes it more inhabitable and more beautiful”.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 20.05.2021 here

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