Foster + Partners transforms aging building into sustainable office
Work is underway on an interesting new office project by Foster + Partners that involves renovating a dilapidated industrial building in Madrid, Spain, that's over 100 years old. The firm will retain the basic shell while adding a modern sustainable interior and energy efficient features like solar power and rainwater collection.
The building was originally constructed in 1905 and was part of the local natural gas supply network. In 2017 it was acquired by sustainable infrastructure and energy firm – and Dakar Rally trailblazer – Acciona.
The project, which is named Acciona Ombú, will create over 10,000 sq m (roughly 107,000 sq ft) of new office space in the building. Foster + Partners will insert a series of floors under the existing roof using a timber frame, with the renders showing significant greenery inside too. Additionally, a large new courtyard area will be created which will connect to a park area with over 300 trees.
Making the most of Madrid's balmy climate, it will provide areas for socializing as well as pleasant outdoor working areas to complement the offices inside. This area will also connect to a nearby metro station.
"This project offers the rare opportunity to give this magnificent building a new lease of life," says Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners." It is a great example of the [Spanish architect] Luis de Landecho's early twentieth century work, and our design aims to retain its original spirit, while creating a workplace that is flexible and adaptable to new and emerging ways of working. Together with Acciona, we have developed a design that is underpinned by our shared vision of sustainability and demonstrates our commitment towards the environment."
The project is slated to receive the LEED Gold green building standard. During the renovation, Foster + Partners aims to reuse 10,000 tons of brick present on the site. Additionally, the firm reckons the use of the timber structure for the office floors will save over 1,000 tons of CO2, and will also offer the benefit of being easily removed and recycled if required at some point in the future.
Solar panels will help reduce the building's draw on the grid and both natural ventilation and lighting will be promoted. Rainwater will be captured and stored for irrigation use.
Source: Foster + Partners