Bjarke Ingels Group Translates Andalusia’s Urban Identity with New Joint Research Center in Sevilla

The first prize was won by Bjarke Ingels Group along with Argenia Ingenieria y Arquitectura and Buro Happold in an international multidisciplinary competition to design the new Joint Research Center Site Headquarters. The JRC site, plaza, gardens, and building below will be protected by a “cloud of pergolas”, inspired by Sevilla’s shaded streets and plazas. It will also be supported by a series columns that are covered with photovoltaics, which contribute positively to the building’s operational footprint.

The new building, measuring 9,900 square meters, is located at the EXPO ’92 site, Sevilla. It promotes the city’s goal to become a global leader in sustainability and contributes to eCitySevilla’s vision for decarbonizing Isla de la Cartuja and making it 100% renewable energy. The building will be home to 12 research units as well as public, and private outdoor spaces. The pergola’s perimeter is lowered to a more human-scale height. The research center will follow the same design, adapting to the canopy to create a series of shaded outdoor spaces and terraces for recreation and gatherings.

Courtesy of BIG

The project’s overall layout is flexible and adaptable to meet future center needs. The JRC building houses public programs and amenities, such as dining and a conference centre, as well as social spaces. Offices and research units are located on the upper floors. This ensures privacy and security. The plaza is where collaborative workplaces are located, while private workspaces face the garden.

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Locally sourced materials like limestone, wood and ceramic tiles are used in the design. The structure of the building is made from low-carbon concrete which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 30%. While the pergola cloud is made from recycled steel, To reduce or eliminate the heat island effect, water elements and gardens are integrated into the outdoor landscape. The canopy will also be powered by integrated rainwater collection technology. Additionally, the pergola will have shading and shallow floorplates that allow for natural cross ventilation. This allows for ideal light qualities and reduces the energy consumed by mechanical ventilation, artificial lightening, air conditioning and mechanical ventilation.

Our design for the Joint Research Centre, Sevilla has been more about sustainability than anything else. We have tried to make the building more livable and beautiful through an architectural aesthetic. This is a new Andalusian environmental vernacular. — Bjarke Ingels

The European Commission Joint Research Centre, (JRC) was endorsed by the International Union of Architects. It launched an international multidisciplinary competition to design the new JRC Headquarters in Seville. The competition was open to all who are interested in a forward-looking, innovative and cost-efficient design. It aimed at integrating multiple disciplines in order to meet the highest sustainability goals for a new construction project. Bernard Magenhann (Deputy Director General) presided over the international jury that selected the winning project. They reviewed 15 submissions. The jury was impressed by the shade canopy’s immense power and its ability to create urban spaces that encourage transparency, inclusion and energy efficiency.

Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG
© Playtime
© Playtime

The second prize went to Dorte Mandrup with Ines Ingenieros Consultants, Jansana and De la Villa, De Paauw and Arquitectes. The third prize went to Cobe with Esteyco and FSL Ingenieria y Diseno Sostenible Estudi Ramon Folch i Associats and b720 Arquitectura.