The IDOM Group offices are located in an old bonded warehouse in the Deusto canal in Bilbao. Considered the first piece of urban development of Zorrotzaurre in Bilbao, the 14,400 m2 building includes offices, research and development areas, a prototyping workshop, and social spaces. From the beginning, the design focused on the role of the roof, formerly used to store goods. A green carpet has been designed as if simply placed over the roof, hiding all the air conditioning units and creating a new topography. Folds and surfaces resemble a hill on which to stroll, relax, and converse with peers, as this is the floor intended as the resting area. The flat surface of the carpet has grass, while the folded part covering the mechanical units has artificial turf for maintenance and weight reasons.
The design of the façades is highly protective from the sun, controlling solar radiation and thus energy expenditure without compromising the views from the inside. The design of the horizontal brise soleil emerges as an imaginary extension of the roof carpet, stretching over the façades and folding over its singularities: an existing balcony facing the canal, the entrance, access points for firemen, and other unique areas. The building envelope is made out of aluminum composite and rock wool in the opaque areas and performance glass in an aluminum framed curtain wall in the spaces between pillars.
Inside, the design combines existing elements with new ones. The great beams of the original structure are left exposed on most of the floors. A splendid main staircase and glass-covered elevators that offer views of both the offices and the canal occupy the openings used by the old car-lifts that raised cargo up to the roof. On the top floor of the tower, where the noisy machinery of the car-lifts was housed, there is now a library. The ground floor accommodates a 400 m2 exhibition hall with wood floors, walls and ceilings.
An important objective of the project was to create a large and airy workspace, with great visual communication between and within departments, without barriers between different functions and workers at IDOM. Very few offices haven been planned, yet there are multiple meeting and teamwork rooms. To avoid creating psychological barriers between enclosed rooms and open areas, we designed three-panel glass sliding screens that allow for 2/3 of the front of the office to be open towards the work area.
Special attention was paid to sound absorption surfaces: on the floor, a carpet with 6,6 fiber; on the front of the tables, perforated panels with rock wool as well as in the ceilings; and the chilled beams have a lining designed with a sound-absorbing veil and perforated plates so that their position between the existing beams serves as an acoustic trap. This strategy is repeated in the visitor rooms, where we designed a rock wool wall cladding, absorbing veil, and electro galvanized dichromate perforated plates, an industrial finish used to make filters and sieves.
The building has multiple innovative water and energy efficiency measures: very low consumption taps and sanitary equipment; rainwater storage tanks on the roof under the grass for automatic watering of the garden; automatic lighting regulation systems; sun protection slats on the façade; photovoltaic panels on the roof of the tower; a unique diffusion system based on movement; and HVAC that works with water. Different colored beams, cold beams, enclose the HVAC and lighting in a single element. The cold beams integrate water batteries, lamps, and lighting sensors and are installed between the existing large beams. The green roof reduces the heat island effect, acting as a noise and CO2 absorption element thanks to its vegetation. The water that accumulates in a run-off water tank on the ground floor contributes to the control of water in times of storm or heavy rains. It is estimated that these measures will reduce the energy consumption by nearly 60% compared to the typical consumption of a similar building.
Facts and Figures
Author: IDOM Group
Client: IDOM Group
Location: Avda. Zarandoa, 23, Bilbao
Cost: 13 million euros
Site Area: 3,300 m²
Floor Area: 14,400 m²
Project Architect: Javier Pérez Uribarri
Design Team: Oscar Ferreira da Costa, Jabier Fernández Sánchez, and Josu Eguileor Astigarraga
Project Management: Oscar Malo
Cost: Agurtzane Insa, Javier Ruiz de Prada, and Gabriel Bustillo
Structures: Alberto Fuldain and Angel Gómez
Facilities: Jon Zubiaurre, Alvaro Gutierrez, Arturo Cabo, Oscar Malo, Mikel Aguirre, Rafael Pérez, and Lorena Muñoz
Fire Strategy: Arturo Cabo
Sustainability: Vindio Corro
Drawings: Iñaki Zabala, Joserra Ruiz, and Carlos Olmedillas
Administration: Sonia López, Blanca Ugarte, and Rosa Gutierrez
Site Supervision: Javier Pérez Uribarri
Construction Management: Juan Guinea, Mikel Mendigote, Miguel García, and Amaya Lastra
Photographers: Aitor Ortiz and Jorge Allende