Joint Research Centre

Joint Research Centre

Sevilla, Spain

Size: 11,500 m2
Status: Design
Project Design: 2022
Address: Calle Inca Garcilaso, 41092 Seville, Spain
Client: European Comission

Design Team: Mecanoo, Bakpak architects, Eddea Citythinking, Arquitectura Agronomia.

Awards: Competition, honourable mention.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) will be realised on the former Sevilla Expo ´92 site in Isla de la Cartuja. Centred between the WTC building, Torre Sevilla, and the new Magallanes Park, the site offers the opportunity for a clear rectangular configuration representing the cultural heritage of the Expo ‘92 grid-shaped urban layout. At urban scale, the proposal is shaped to give continuity and reinforce the current pedestrian flows in Isla de la Cartuja, and integrate the future ones generated by the building.

The urban design strategy relies on four principles: boundaries setback to create new public space, maximum occupancy and density of the plot, building orientation to accommodate the local natural conditions, and a strategy to maximise green areas while mitigating waste, landfills and excavations. Inspired by vernacular bioclimatic solutions, the proposal is organised around an atrium open to the garden below street level.

A total of 12 research units with supporting functions (clusters) are located on two floors to maximize collaboration between users. The 11,500 square meters programme is organised on three levels. The public functions are located on the ground floor, while the clusters occupy the 1st and 2nd floors for privacy and security. By locating all the clusters on two floors, the distance between workplaces is reduced to encourage collaboration between users.

The design proposes several simple, logical, and site-specific sustainable solutions informed by Seville's climate, access to daylight, shading, and the local prevailing winds. A robust and flexible floorplan allows for future adaptation and expansion. The roof is used as a power plant, the structure is built in timber, and the cantilevered balconies shade the facade.

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