In our proposal, the architecture of the New Joint Research Centre is based on creating a delightful and efficient 21st-century workplace in a sustainable and optimistic way. The overall shape is a simple rectangle which is twisted to combine the two main grid directions defined by the Guadalquivir River.
The landscape design is based on the context, the excavated site, and the micro-climate regulation of the Moorish Garden tradition. A park is an oasis generating multiple ecosystem services, collecting rainwater, and acting as a green and social hub, connecting neighbouring areas. Opening towards the river invites a cool breeze into the area and creates green cohesion.
The Park has four main components: the Shade Park, the Riverbed, the Terrace, and the Solar Meadow. The Shade Park is a biodiverse composition of trees, plantings, and pergolas. To provide further cooling we created small cascades. From the underground rainwater cistern, solar-powered pumps bring the water up. The Riverbed is a multi-functional component capitalizing on the already excavated foundation – transformed into an ephemeral riverbed. It is a central open and lush planting bed filled with species adapted to the fluctuating water condition.
The Terrace is a mostly paved area, functioning as an open stage for interaction between indoor and outdoor spaces. The cantilevering roof, trees and water surface create a pleasant micro-climate.
The Solar Meadow is a no-human zone, a refuge for biodiversity, birds, and insects, where solar panels are placed on a green roof. The whole park is fenced with panels that can be moved like a folding screen. This way it serves a double function: closes off the area during the night, and where the screen is folded it creates shaded micro spaces. The design refers to the historical Hortus Conclusus, enhancing the experience of this urban oasis.
The proposal received an Honourable Mention, the Jury praised the project’s excellent urban qualities, the robust landscape proposal, with a large area being ”gifted” to the community, as well as its symbolism in relation to the region’s history.