European Joint Research Center

Location Seville (Spain)
Client European Commission
Area 17.300 m²
Year 2022
Status Competition, 3rd Prize
Typology Infrastructures
Collaborator Cobe
Visuals b720, Cobe
Team Fermín Vázquez, Luis Bellera, Carlos Maristany, Eduardo Palao, Olaf Puente, Louis Lacorne

Third place in the international architectural competition to define the future permanent site of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville.

The proposal for the future EU Joint Research Center (JRC) is not a single building, but a complex of buildings unified under one roof. It is seen as a connector, an intermediate condition between the dense, small-scale historic city center of Seville and the large -scale typologies of La Cartuja.

The design combines a large roof made of mass timber that shelters a scaled-down, lively and dense “village” underneath, made of buildings of a maximum height of three floors, built in rammed earth. A delightful and diverse landscape surrounds and filters between the buildings, creating a comfortable micro climate for employees and visitors. The JRC is an inviting gesture to the city of Seville, showcasing Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) principles as well as European values.

The JRC’s roof is designed as a 6,500 m² canopy, based on an 8 x 8 m grid of timber columns, further broken down into modules 4 x 4 m with pre-fabricated components that can change and adapt to future uses. As an energy generating roof, it collects and distributes resources – water through a water management system and electricity through an array of solar panels – all to be used by the building and its inhabitants. The roof prevents heat gain, solar glare and provides shading, while allowing for a better micro-climate between buildings.

All in all, the building aims to be perceived as a welcoming neighbor, user-friendly, inclusive, universally accessible, and actively used in all seasons. It signals democracy and inclusion, embodying the core social values of the European Union.