Bioko Island, Punta Europa, Equatorial Guinea 2010

Due to the current growth of the country’s oil economy and its desire to open to tourism, the Terminal that opened in 2004 no longer complies with these objectives. Thus IAD has been chosen to design a new terminal with a capacity of up to 900,000 passengers a year that requires the generation of a large public space while possessing an international image that must also refer to local architecture.


The principle of a sensitive building was adopted from the outset, combining a technological, sustainable, almost low-tech image with another image which recalls the essence of aeronautical aesthetics – an aerodynamic wing that houses under its shadow the programme of the new Terminal. This roof is considered as the fifth façade of the building, first seen while landing at Santa Isabel.



The traceability of chosen materials, the goal of assembling a responsible, sustainable building all go along with an evocative and contemporary image – an image of total fusion with the local vegetation, an intrinsic part of the project, creating a new gateway and exit for a country which turns its back on its recent dictatorial past and opens up to the future.


Mixed-use building, Palma de Mallorca, 2010

IAD won the 2nd prize in the competition held by Neinver for their desin of a Mixed-Use Building in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The project was part of the urban refurbishment of Sector Llevant.


Zuwarah, Libya. April, 2010

Works in-office and on-site have been indefinitely halted for IAD´s Tripoli Eco-University campus due to the current situation in Libya.


We can but offer our sincerest wishes for a timely and sustainable resolution to the country´s internal conflicts. We hope that one day works can resume on this notable infrastructure, conceived as a vehicle of progress and education while serving as a model of modern, responsible edification. see also




San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid. March, 2010

This project has been entirely conceived and optimized in close collaboration with Arup Spain within a framework of sustainable design. The semi-open interior patio’s advanced roof structure naturally resolving convection- related passive cooling and heating and the large area of interior spaces acting as a low-inertia energetic mass.

This project has been entirely conceived and optimized in close collaboration with Arup Spain within a framework of sustainable design. The semi-open interior patio’s advanced roof structure naturally resolving convection- related passive cooling and heating and the large area of interior spaces acting as a low-inertia energetic mass. The sculptural play of blind forms towards the south combined with the various greenhouse spaces and trombe walls of the west façade create a showcase example for environmentally sensitive design. A clear yet flexible path is punctuated by surprises in the form of crossed-views to other levels, the main patio with its sunken garden, as well as exposition platforms scattered and hidden along the main walkways. Standing out among the formal solutions utilized is what became known as the ‘hula-hoop’ or ‘transmission gearbox’ of the main circulation lining the perimeter of the vast central space. Self-supporting structural rings are offset from floor to floor, allowing for generous cantilevers and dramatic platforms and hinting at the concept of kinetics – homage to the movement in, about and around the architectural object.


A docklands reference of a white, sculptural pile of boxes on both the main and interior façades generates interest from the exterior and creates a constantly changing shadow-play from the cantilevered volumes, contrasted during the night by a carefully studied lighting design that transforms the necessarily opaque exterior into a glowing object. Dynamic, vector-formed stratified bands swoop around from the rear of the building, finishing as the lit ends as a coil of fiber-optic cable.


Sky Gardens Hotel Villamoda Galleries, Dubai, UAE 2008

The first step consisted in defining a visual and constructive frame for the building which would determine not only the exterior facade of the hotel but the physical limits of built-up areas. The response to such a simple formal approach was to create a complex dialogue between each separate architectural or landscaping element.

Hotel / Sky-Gardens:

An urban and vertical garden has been the response to the massive hotel building, as an inverse piece, a friendly opposite that complements and allows the dark prism of the hotel to breathe.

Sky-Gardens / Structure:

The force of the metaphorically plant-like structure cut-out from the constructive frame it supports is what provides meaning for the vertical garden. To walk among these structural elements covered in vegetation is like living in and amongst the trees.

Structure / Skin:

The skin respects the plant-like structure and plays with it. It is cut along the branches of the structure and passes before and behind it, a movement generated by the programmatic organization. In this manner, the structure disappears, allowing the fenestration patterns of the curtain wall to be seen in the tourist section of the hotel, only to reappear and reaffirm itself as structure in the area corresponding to the immense executive hotel atrium. The skin, a prism that becomes almost transparent in the exclusive hotel zone is where the one begins to see the peaks of ‘iceberg’ formations, exclusive penthouse duplexes among a luxurious white and naturally green universe. These same icebergs appear, as if in a déjà-vu but this time from underneath, suspended from the commercial floor of the main lobby.

Skin / Passive Solar Protection:

The passion for cinematographic arts, film sequences, fragmentation, and repetitiveness have led the project towards a clear rationality, in this case manifest by perpendicular planes of solar protected dark glass that travel the whole height of the facade, creating this desired dynamic paralleled vision.

Passive Solar Protection / Sky-Gardens:

We return to the essence, the garden... These perpendicular planes used as protection adapt to become supports for dense climbing plants as well as architectural barriers that determine pathways among the vertical gardens. To pass from one tree-platform to another, restaurants, showrooms, a cigar lounge, all connected by mechanical pathways and vertigo-inspiring escalators.


Conference Center, Reus, Spain 2008

This project “Tecnoparc”, was a competition organized by the city of Reus, Spain to build a conference center in that same city. While participating, IAD, always seeking challenge, thought that the generation of a singular building was always related to the treatment of dual concepts.

1. Dimorphism:

Tecnoparc exists as a landmark in itself albeit in close relation to its context. The building serves as a dynamic anchor in a triangular lot whose limits define the plane of its façades.

2. Movement / Immutability:

Tecnoparc is a dynamic object that dialogues with its surroundings although it tacitly implies notions of movement, of activity, of future. Notwithstanding, its role as a public infrastructure confers it with the stativity and immutability of a monument, a multi-nodal platform, a nucleus of civic life.

3. Content / Form:

Tecnoparc is a skin, a shell that encloses all its functions and generates a homogeneous image: a single image for a hybrid object. This skin can be understood as a plural dimensional façade, as 5 facets, as visible from the ground as from the sky.

4. Skin / Program:

Tecnoparc unravels as a ribbon, a ramp that passes through the public spaces of the building thus connecting the different main anchor elements of the program. This ribbon folds over itself at one end, becoming a roof for the same spaces it connected and manifests itself as more than a simple façade: it is an architectonic event that reveals the building when seen from the main thoroughfare.

5. Autonomy / Dependence:

Tecnoparc is evidently technologic. Its autonomy resides in its intelligent skin that captures and filters solar energy, instinctively closing itself towards the south and protecting its main façade. Sustainable, human energies depend on this veritable display tu flow and generate social activity.


United Office Tower, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2007

United They Stand... United Trading Est., as large-scale developer, required the proposal for a mixed-use building of offices and hotel with a retail base at the entrance of the city of Jeddah. Requirements for visibility, built-up area, constructive rationality and multi- functionality were quickly deemed as the only visible criteria for the client.

The United Office Building is a mixed-use development of 175.000m2 whose aim is to become a landmark for the entrance to the city of Jeddah, providing richly landscaped spaces, public shopping galleries, world-class rental offices, spa facilities and restaurants. Its technical process is manifested by apparently subtle structural and architectural features (novel façade and tower design), lighting effects (night-time illumination and the world’s largest active LED facade) and state-of-the-art building intelligence (natural ventilation, facade-cleaning, recycling, etc). The giant main structural façade (100x140m) uses Arabic tessellations to create effects of differing depths, shadows and rhythms.

The separation of the tower structure into two halves, further accentuated by the horizontal displacement of the blocks creates a tension that has been resolved by the torsion of the inner façades that bridge the 15m void and create a suspended atrium within the building envelope, as well as a monumental ogival-arched barrel vault below, a feature reminiscent of monumental Islamic architecture. This symbolic roof-space creates a protective vault for the oasis garden below.

The proposal shows architecture apparently free from formalism, a logical application of the triple programme (retail, offices, and hotel).

This intellectual rigor applied to the programme generates necessity and surprise, obliging these two uncompromising buildings to connect through an emblematic and formal gesture: a kiss.







Municipal Football Staidum, Seville, Spain 2007

This project of stadium in Seville, Spain, is an example of IAD’s architecture, based on ergonomics, functionality and context.

ERGONOMY _ this proposal was determined by the will to intensify the sporting event, concentrating on the spectator in surroundings that focus on the actions taking place on the playing field. Two distinct scales are present: on one hand is the monumental scale of the game, expressed in the empty field and monumental ring of the canopy; on the other hand is the human scale of the spectator present in the fragmented organization of the bleachers and the reduction of the visual impact of the building.

FUNCIONALITY _ the rationality of the proposal affirms its modernity, while meeting all prerequisites of safety, comfort and economy. The object, enshrouded in its surroundings, allows for an optimization of the shear surface of built façades and uses modular, prefabricated bleachers without resting architectural quality. The ‘fifth’ façade formed by the roof-ring maximizes the protection and comfort of the spectators. This object becomes a public plaza, a polyvalent space dedicated to leisure time and spectacles, be they sporting or cultural, with a clear reference to Roman arenas, a civic space for the citizen.

CONTEXTUALITY _ conceived as a response to the horizontal extension of the surrounding fields and the extremity of local meteorological conditions, the Stadium proposal defines itself as a landscape-architectonic gesture with the creation of an artificial hill space - an active bump - that gently holds the playing field in its centre.


Hotel Tower, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2007

Airport Highway… The entrance to the city of Riyadh, a building is erected, strangely not as a block or extrusion but as a combination of planes, thin shards, glass sheets that are supported and grow from a ‘V’-shaped base. This simple triangular form allows the building to be oriented as its hypotenuse faces the city and generates 2 imposing atriums, thus offering the best views to the common areas of this skyscraper: the lobby and hotel lounge.

The façade’s vertical geometry curve at the base, thus generating covered areas over the main entrance and terrace oasis, creating solar shielding – quite necessary in the climate of Riyadh. Positioned in the continuation of the main lobby, are the complementary elements common to such a large hotel. The congress center, commercial area, parking, services and personnel areas, loading bays are organized within the white chiseled prism that creates a dialogue with the typically horizontal urban context.

This project dedicated to a large hotel chain through a private promoter had as its main challenge the integration in a peripheral, triangular site. Its rational development being associated to an international image and the compliance of the hotel program has brought us to this object, this tool of immediate use yet sophisticated perception.


Administrative Courthouse, Madrid City of Justice, Spain 2007

“I am not referring to the space outside the form, that surrounds the volume - where forms reside - but rather the space that forms create, that lives within them, that is more active the more it acts in a hidden manner.” Sculptor Eduardo Chillida

This quotation above is the departure point and leitmotif for this object that experiments with the concept of plural spaces inside a single envelope. It asks the questions: “How can one be inside and outside simultaneously?”, “How to be an observer as well as a participant?”, “How to join and separate at the same time?” This sculptural work that carries within it the implied notion of juxtaposition of two different types of spaces can only be the outcome of a programmatic analysis and fragmentation of the building.

The administrative courthouse is a public space, a fundamentally public space. It needs to procure a typology for its entrance, its meeting point with a clear direction and monumental stairway, as if it were an urban plaza. The main void, resultant of the building’s form, becomes an active patio on the first three stories, a space dedicated to the meeting of public and professional worlds. The administrative courthouse is a professional space, requiring a maximum of compartmentalization where privacy and confidentiality are the rule. The upper three stories, dedicated to the professional activity of the courts, utilize the central void as a source of LIGHT for the administrative offices that re-orient themselves at each level towards semi-exterior patio gardens, providing a protected exterior façade for the judges’ chambers - the main actors of the ensemble. This transformation of the typical functional scheme, with its excavations within the initial volume, creates new ergonomics, a new functionality disposed by the void, the matrix of this space. That the form should be determined by space and not the other way around reminds us of Debussy, when he stated that “The music is the silence between the notes”.


Office Building, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2007

The urban interaction with the city, the accesses to and from the Plinth, comfort, flexibility and transparency, natural light and shadow, as well as the incorporation of nature are central factors to our design - but all of them need to be dressed by a skin, a veil- the symbol of this work.

We decided to take advantage of the basic configuration of the building, developing the façade as a spiral pattern around the floor perimeter. It thus permitted us to reach the most dynamic high-rise we had been involved in creating. Modern high-rise buildings frequently rise abruptly from ground level, and in that sense they can be very antisocial structures. When we came to design the preliminary schemes of the project, we saw a great opportunity in the lack of a car park area to create a generous urban space and produce an elegant and green pedestal.


The access floor - clean and minimal - including only services and wellness facilities, produces an effect of detachment and fragility of the main body of the building, only linked to the Plinth by the elevator cores and 2 structural vertical elements. Its inclining shape permits the creation of dynamic points of view from Kings Road and a natural access to the Lobby tower.

The social and green areas are the other architectural challenge. We decided to create a sort of bow windows on the straight sides of the building, creating real sky-gardens as a preliminary filter from the harsh outside. The self-supporting façade is shaped with 4400 x 1600 mm modules bounded by rails for an automatic cleaning system and floor and ceiling boards. Modules are equipped with a coupling system for the outdoor LED lighting. The cladding system is equipped with high level solar protection glass (exterior 12 mm float glass, internal dehydrated air camera and indoor 6 + 6 mm laminated glass) in order to achieve a 50% outside light transmission and a solar factor of 25. The use of light in this unique project is established not only to efficiently illuminate a work destined to be a landmark in the city of Jeddah. The lighting design has been conceived to seek cohesion with the surrounding community, and explores a broad range of emotions, feelings and perceptions. A complex system of LED lights will cover much of the exterior of the building, marking at different levels the profile of the exterior skin with dynamic lighting of very low frequency cycles.




Extension and renovation of Porto Pi shopping center, Palma de Mallorca Balearic Islands, Spain 2005.

Les Terrasses is a 60.000m2 retail and leisure extension of Porto Pi, the principal shopping mall in the city of Palma de Mallorca. The studio had the mission to renovate it, a big challenge for an architect.

To get down to the essence of retail vocabularies, recreate perspectives, simplify the itineraries of visitors who do not readily welcome new habits, to generate a new environment in accordance with the shop-owners definitely represents an exercise in balance. Upon first visiting the center, S. Cottrell and J. Michelangeli’s first reaction was to generate a global project, developed not from its details but on the interaction between volumes and light. To convert the center into a single store with its own ergonomics, esthetic, to interactively and dynamically mark the fluxes and connections of the center. 


Taking full advantage of the perfect location on the roof of the Porto Pi building located on the city’s main seafront, and freely borrowing nautical references such as white painted steel contrasted with wood slats and serigraphic glass, the chasm cut between the two perfect prisms creates a promenade in which to freely walk and shop. The first intervention consisted of modifying the metallic / industrial look of the suspended ceilings. The existing MEP installations and the low floor height called for the elimination of a new continuous ceiling: “...we wanted to make the ceiling disappear, darkening it and re-creating a lower, more dynamic white plane that accentuated the virtual paths of the visitors...”. These suspended ribs follow the geometry of the Mall and accentuate the retail perspectives with a succession of random curves.



Hotel Tower, Barcelona, Spain 2004

This Hotel Tower of 30 000 m2 was designed for the promoter Vinci Grands Projets in the city of Barcelona, Spain.