Eco-design for Seville's European Commission Joint Research Centre unveiled

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Architects at Bjarke Ingels Group have won an international design competition to determine plans for the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain.

It is located at the former Sevilla EXPO ´92 site, in Isla de la Cartuja and ties into the City of Sevilla's goal to become a global benchmark for sustainability by 2025 and the local vision of the eCitySevilla project to decarbonize and transition Isla de la Cartuja to 100 per cent renewable energy sources.

"With our design for the Joint Research Centre in Seville, more than anything, 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 - a new Andalusian environmental vernacular," said Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG.

The JRC building will house 12 research units and supporting functions as well as public and private outdoor spaces. The international design competition kicked off in 2021 with 66 offices competing for the project, expected to break ground in 2024.

Inspired by the shaded plazas and streets of Seville, the BIG team plans to cover the entire project site with a cloud of solar canopies sheltering the plaza, garden, and research building underneath, akin to the pergolas typical to the city.

The passive design of the building through its shallow floorplate and constant shading under the pergola cloud enables natural cross ventilation and ideal light qualities, reducing the energy consumption typically used on artificial lighting, air conditioning, and mechanical ventilation. The building structure is low-carbon concrete, reducing up to 30 per cent of typical CO2 emissions. Gardens, greenery from the region, and water elements in the outdoor environment seek to reduce/eliminate the heat island effect and create a comfortable microclimate.

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