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Prestigious firms of architects participate in the Competition for Ideas for the Palmas Altas Technological Center, Abengoa´s new headquarters in Seville

June 29, 2005

Seville, June 29, 2005. The company Abengoa is organizing an International Competition for Ideas from Architects to decide on the definitive proposal for the construction of its new HQ in Seville, the Palmas Altas Technological Center. It will be an innovative and ultramodern area where all the activities of the company in the capital city of Andalusia will be carried out and which will become the reflection of Abengoa’s technological capacity.

The first phase of the competition, which has now closed, consisted of the tabulation of 47 design teams that entered, and from among which four teams of prestigious architects have been selected, and in two of which architecture firms from Seville participate in association. All possess proven capacity and vast experience in the undertaking of large-size architectonic challenges.

Today, Abengoa has begun to study the final ideas put forward by these four teams. The results of this study will be the basis on which the company will make its final decision on the winner, who will be announced within the next few weeks. Following selection, the draft project elaboration phase will commence and estimations are for it to be ready next autumn.

The Technological center is a project in which a large investment is to be made, with an estimated budget of 63.5 million euro. It aspires to being a support for Seville and Andalusia as optimal locations in which to invest. It will be constructed on a 41,600 square-meter site, with 50,000 meters of edificability. In the beginning it will house 1,700 employees, more than half of whom will be superior or mid-level graduates.

Abengoa’s new HQ will concentrate, in a single location, research and development activities for areas such as the Information Society, ecological fuels, solar energy, the hydrogen vector, the environment or new water engineering processes.

Palmas Altas TC, which is scheduled to be brought into operation around mid-2008, is a project based on sustainability, especially as regards everything related with energy saving and efficiency; a workplace conceived to minimize environmental impacts, respecting the Kyoto protocol. For this undertaking, the public transport systems – metro and bus – are a key factor given the large number of persons that will travel daily to the Center to work or for other reasons.

Furthermore, it is a project that will give prestige to the image of the city and contribute to the resurgence of the technological and industrial sector through the development and consolidation of the surroundings. Abengoa’s real estate challenge is backed by a solid awareness of social responsibility and will become a meeting point between business activity and other institutions, such as the university.

Four design teams have been selected in the final phase of the competition:

  • The Gabriel Allende Firm of Architects (Madrid)
  • The Carlos Lamela Firm of Architects (Madrid) and CHS (Seville)
  • The Rafael de la Hoz Firm of Architects (Madrid)
  • The Richard Rogers Firm of Architects (London), Luis Vidal (Madrid) and Juan Fernandez Carbonell (Seville)

Gabriel Allende Firm of Architects

An ETSAM architect, Gabriel Allende runs this prestigious firm that has won important prizes awarded by the Official College of Architects of Madrid, the city in which most of its projects have been developed – First Prize “Librería Crisol” 1989, First Prize “Tienda Papelmanía” 1985-; as well as recognitions by Madrid City Council, the latest received in 2003 for the “Edificio de Nueva Planta” in the 18th edition of the Development, Architecture and Public Works 2003 Prizes, for the Agora Towers, in Serrano Street.

Gabriel Allende has been recognized in the “ Salón Inmobiliario de Madrid 2005” Prizes with a special mention for the building of a non-residential nature going to the Ágora Office Block, in Serrano Galvache Street, Madrid.

The firm’s latest architecture projects include, among others: the Mercador Hotel, in Madrid, which is at the construction phase; Altimira Palace, HQ of the European Design Institute, also in Madrid; and the restoration of Clínica de la Luz (Madrid).

The activity of the Gabriel Allende firm extends to administration and office buildings, housing developments, restoration and hostelry, and projects in the culture and religious sectors. In addition, the firm recently participated in the designing of the furnishings of Asprima’s Stand for the “Salón Inmobiliario de Madrid”, or in the designing of the Furnishings for the Mercador Hotel, in Atocha street.

Rafael de la Hoz Firm of Architects

Rafael de La-Hoz Castanys, architect. This firm has recently been given, in Greece, a Mention in the “Bex Awards 2005” International Prizes, in the “Best technological building”, by Retiro Town Council, a recognition to be added to another recent one Mention in the Madrid City Council’s Development, Architecture and Public Works Prizes for 2003, in the Bioclimatic Architecture category, for Endesa’s HQ located in El Campo de las Naciones, in Madrid.

Its works include numerous well-known projects such as the prize-winning “Blima” Business center, Vodafone’s HQ, the “Parque Norte” Business Center, and the “Pentax” office building on Avenida de Aragon.

RLH Arquitectos has recently inaugurated several buildings in Madrid, which include: the HQ of the Superior Council of the Chambers of Commerce, for Retiro District Town Council, and the reformed Cine Proyecciones. It is currently working on projects such Telefónica’s Communications City, District C, the “Pórtico” sustainable building, the enlargement of the Spanish Olympic Committee’s HQ, the offices of the law firm Garrigues y Uría & Menendez, the Emilio Vargas Hotel (Confortel), the reforming of the Ritz Hotelthe Official BMW Concessionaire for Spain and Portugal, and different housing projects in Madrid and Andalusia.

Rogers Firm of Architects.

The work team is formed by three firms of architects:

  • Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP)
  • Vidal Asociados arquitectos (VAa)
  • Juan Fernandez Carbonell (JFC)

and the prestigious engineering team from Arup.

The Palmas Altas project is a real challenge for the RRP- VAa-JFC-Arup team due to the singularity of the customer – Abengoa, a leading company in the environmental sector that is truly committed to sustainable development – and the climatology of Seville. RRP and Arup have a longstanding tradition of working as a team. Since the establishment of Rogers Firm of Architects, in 1977, they have worked on many projects together, with the constant recurrence of executing projects that are committed to their surrounding areas, respecting the environment and pursuing sustainable solutions. They have been collaborating with VAa architects for more than 10 years on numerous projects that include several office buildings and business parks. Finally, the team has been strengthened with the incorporation of JFC architects, who will contribute their full experience of the environment and the location.

Richard Rogers Partnership. It has been receiving good reviews for over three decades and has won dozens of prestigious international awards and prizes. An international firm of architects, it is currently working on two large European airport projects: terminal 5 at Heathrow, in London, and Barajas airport, in Madrid; on six skyscrapers for office use in the City of London; the construction of a new building for the Wales Parliament; the Palace of Justice, in Ambers; and wide-ranging master plans in New York, London, Lisbon, Rome, Valladolid, and Granada.

Customers: Land Securities, Canary Wharf Group, Stanhope, British Airport Authority, Lloyd’s of London, Chelsfield, Aena, Taylor Woodrow, and other different organizations.

Buildings: Pompidou Center, in Paris, Lloyd’s of London, Channel 4’s HQ, the European Human Rights Tribunal, in Strasburg, the Palace of Justice of Bordeaux, among others.

Vidal Asociados arquitectos. Among other large projects, Luis Vidal is coauthor of Warsaw’s New International Airport, as well as the project for the enlargement of the new Chamartin Train Station, in Madrid, both by restricted competition. It was project director for the New Area Terminal at Barajas Airport, Madrid, a 1,200,000 square-meter project with a cost in excess of 1,000 million euro.

At present: VAa is executing different projects for hospitals and airports, and for the construction of three office-buildings. It has also won the competition to execute the interior architecture of the future restoration of the enlargement of the Queen Sophia Contemporary Art Museum, in Madrid.

Juan Fernandez Carbonell Firm of Architects. Fernandez Carbonell is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Sociedad Inmobiliario del Sur, S.A., considered the Best Company of Andalusia, which was awarded the Antares prize for 2004.

Projects: constructions in Seville of houses, offices, L.C.; in Malaga, apartment blocks, and in Fuengirola, parking lots and the Estepona Playa hotel complex.

Among others, Juan Ignacio Vilda Marin has been collaborating with it since 1992. The projects executed jointly include, among others: new facilities for Saldauto; the Al-Andalus five-star hotel project, in Seville; Special Interior Restoration Plan and Development Project under PERI-GU-201, Bellavista, Seville; Housing and Office Blocks and infrastructure remodeling in Benalmadena, Malaga.

Arup. An international engineering consultancy firm that was established in Spain in 1992, where it offers engineering and project management services combining the knowledge it has acquired locally and its vast international experience in this sector.

Work method: to undertake responsibility in the design and conception of the projects in which it participates, working hand-in-hand with the architect and promoter to define the design objectives.

Works: Picasso Museum, in Malaga; façade engineering for the Rafael de la Hoz Communications City; the Ice Palace for the Juvenile Olympic Games, in Jaca, and the new Plaza de la Encarnación, in Seville.

Estudio Carlos Lamela

Estudio Lamela is the largest firm of architects in Spain, vastly experienced with more than half a century behind it and more than 1,500 projects executed. Estudio Lamela has executed important projects such as Real Madrid’s New Sports City, or the Roof and Façade of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, both in Madrid. Likewise, it is developing the project, jointly with Richard Rogers Partnership, for the New Area Terminal at Barajas Airport in Madrid, one of the most ambitious projects in Europe, which is currently under construction. It also executed the Communications City Project for Telefónica. This is a large office block and the company’s corporate HQ in Madrid, with a 10,000-person capacity.

It currently has more than a hundred professionals on its team. They perform their work in a flexible and dynamic manner pursuing the most innovative and highest quality results that are at the architectonic forefront. In addition, the firm makes use of the collaboration of suitable specialists in each phase of its projects and in each discipline, such as structures, equipment and installations, environmental assessment, landscaping, safety and health, etc.


Rafael Casado Martinez, Antonio J. Herrero Elordi, Juan Suarez Avila; Architecture and Design.

The firm was established in 1979 to participate in creative processes that, linked with culture, affect architecture and design. It is a multi-disciplinary firm that ahs also carried out creative assessment and technical management works, ephemeral architecture management and execution projects, and installations for exhibitions

Works and projects: the headquarters of the Offical College of Odontologists and Stomatologists of Seville; Shops and Bookshops in the Royal Alcazars of Seville; the Draft Project for the Olympic Swimming Pools for the Candidature of Seville 2004; Reforming of La Sal Quay for the installation of Eduardo Chillida’s work of art entitled “Tolerancia”.

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