It is impossible not to be inspired by the immense diversity of Seville. Ancient roman ruins, spectacular remnants of Islamic heritage, and colourful ceramic facades. Our vision for a new EU Joint Research Centre draws knowledge from the rich vernacular of the vibrant Andalusian capital, stretching along the banks of the Guadalquivir River. It unites the values of the New European Bauhaus initiative and sets a new standard for inclusivity, well-being, and openness in future workspaces.

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The New European Bauhaus calls for new perspectives to shape an inclusive and sustainable future. A future that is beautiful for the eyes, mind, and soul. Located in a city of remarkable historic splendour, cultural diversity, and a rich artistic heritage, the new EU Joint Research Centre in Seville unites these values to become a leading example of responsible and democratic architecture.

The centre lies beyond the dense urban fabric of the historic city centre on the former EXPO 92 site on Isla de La Cartuja – a place characterised by its scattered, large buildings.  Our vision for the future Joint Research Centre in Sevilla aims to bring life back to the island. It is inspired by the diverse vernacular of Andalusia which has developed through hundreds of years and created protected and amiable spaces for humans in the harsh climate. Turning the traditional Andalusian courtyard house inside out, the building forms a generous and inclusive gesture towards its surroundings, blurring the borders between public and private, inside and outside, nature and culture. 

The six-floor building combines the ancient knowledge of Andalusia with advanced technologies to create a comfortable microclimate for employees and visitors. A large canopy rests above the building. Appearing like a large wooden pergola carried by a rhythmic grid of timber columns it is shielding both the building and the immediate surroundings from the sun while using its power to generate energy. The canopy protects the interwoven patchwork of interior and exterior spaces that visually descends into the public park. By perforating the buildings’ compact cubic geometry with rotating green gardens and terrasses, we are inserting green “lungs” to create a comfortable interior and allow natural ventilation.  

At the heart of the building lies the central atrium. With a green, open atmosphere it is directly connected to the garden and the balconies and emanates a feeling of being outside. Spanning through the entire building, the atrium provides a space for casual encounters and breakout sessions. Each floor is defined by a simple layout that allows for a high degree of flexibility to meet the current and future needs of the Joint Research Centre. The tangled web of interior and exterior spaces, double- and single height rooms, establishes transparency throughout the building and highlights the informal and human-centred workspaces.

By introducing slopes, water ponds, and greenery, we are able to use the landscape to create a protected building without excluding barriers. A shaded promenade and public park form an informal ascension to the entrance and public areas. The border between the park and the building is defined by a pond which both upholds the inclusive and permeable environment and contributes to reduce temperatures. Promoting and enhancing biodiversity, the landscape introduces species that are typical of the Andalusian ecosystem. 

The new Joint Research Centre is based on a bioclimatic design with shading protecting it from solar radiation, a tempered buffer zone spanning all around the building using water and vegetation as natural cooling elements, and a patio that enables natural ventilation. The use of low-impact materials and constructions systems such as wood and recycled ceramics helps reduce the carbon footprint. By taking advantage of all options for energy generation, the Joint Research Centre will generate more energy that it consumes, generously providing for its neighbours.