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Torre Iberdrola opens with dedication by Spainâs King and Queen

Torre Iberdrola opens with dedication by Spain’s King and Queen

Torre Iberdrola opens with dedication by Spain’s King and Queen

BILBAO, Spain (Feb. 22, 2012) — Torre Iberdrola was dedicated Tuesday with a ceremony including Spanish royalty, officially opening the energy corporation headquarters designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain unveiled a dedication plaque for the building in a ceremony attended by 400 people. Cesar Pelli, senior principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, was among those present. Opening with a performance by the Bilbao Choral Society, the ceremony was attended by government officials and business leaders including Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria, Basque country president Patxi López, Bilbao Mayor Iñaki Azkuna, General Deputy of Bizkaia Province José Luis Bilbao and Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán.

Galán called Torre Iberdrola a “modern, cutting edge building” and praised the architect whose “enormous talent is reflected in this building.” The building is the first tower in Europe to achieve LEED Platinum precertification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating in sustainable design. The elegant 41-story glass tower is the focal point of Bilbao’s Abandoibarra development, for which Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects collaborated on the master plan. The development—realized through a public-private partnership—revitalized an industrial, mile-long portion of the River Nervión, reconnecting the 19th-century city to its historic waterfront. The development includes the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and other buildings by many of the world’s leading architects.

The tower anchors a plaza on one of the city’s most important avenues, near the point where it crosses the Nervión. The building’s graceful triangular form is derived from three segments of a cylinder tilted gently toward one another. In plan, the shape resembles a chevron, but with one shorter side. The two longer sides form a prow that points down the avenue into the city, a gesture that is amplified by a sculptural glass and steel base. The light-filled multi-story lobby is finished in warm, honey-colored wood and stone.

The tower incorporates many green-building strategies. The concrete from an existing train yard was reused, and recycled fly ash was specified for much of the remainder. A continuous loop of 30°C water runs through the building to assist in heating and cooling, depending on the season and time of day. Most significantly, Torre Iberdrola has a highly efficient double-wall glass façade. Reversing the conventional configuration of such walls, the permeable wall is on the inside so cool interior air can circulate through the cavity between the walls, drawing heat up and into the ceiling plenum, allowing the building to capture heat and take advantage of it as circumstances determine. Curtains in the space between the two walls are self adjusting. To further reduce energy consumption, an automatic system regulates the internal light and air conditioning.

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