Arquitectura Viva
Sunday, June 07, 2020

Ruiz Barbarin arquitectos, full refurbishment of Torre Castellana 81 in Madrid

Recently declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC), in the Monuments category, the former headquarters of the BBVA on Paseo de la Castellana, a work of Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza, has been refurbished by the Madrid firm led by the Navarrese architect Antonio Ruiz Barbarin. The project sought to raise the quality of the work spaces while respecting the building’s architectural qualities and its original atmosphere.

Outside, the perimetral Japanese garden conceived by Oíza has been recreated, the tower’s ground-floor entrance opens out to a large sun-bathed esplanade, and the interior passage that leads to the low parts of the Azca financial district features a corner executed with stainless steel like a module of the facade.

The circulation cores have been given back their original materials: large pieces of phylladic rock and polished stainless steel at the mouths.

In the lobby, a mezzanine over the Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde entrance forms a diaphanous space, thanks to the removal of elements added over the years.

The communal spaces in the lower ground floor have been renovated in accordance with functionality criteria, aiming for simultaneity of uses, versatility, and flexibility. This is achieved through sliding panels and stackable modular furniture. The materials and proportions of the space follow the original modular composition of the building, in terms of both layout and detailing.

In the facades, a system of aluminum frames between slabs and a series of horizontal crossbeams punctuate the curtain wall, and ensure minimal breakage of the thermal bridge. The curved corners, rendered with panels of galvanized steel sheets, are left as they are. Around the ledges, the old fiber cement sandwich boards have been replaced by similar panels of steel with an inner insulation layer of rockwool. Without altering the original facade, these are attached by means of pressure to the building's CorTen steel plates. The building has earned the LEED Platinum certificate for sustainability.
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