Relationship of estudio Herreros with hybrid complexes and high-rise buildings
Juan Herreros´ relationship with hybrid complexes goes back to the 1980s when these latter first appeared on the American sky-line and references to which were to be found in the book “Técnica y Arqitectura en la Ciudad Contemporánea”, which was later translated into English by the MIT Press under the title “Tower & Office”. This work, a pioneer in Europe in terms of its demand for high-rise construction and the application of the ideas brought over from the United States regarding new and hybrid typologies, today remains a text book in universities in many parts of the world with extraordinary prestige in Latin America. Project workshops and discussion fora have contributed to place Juan Herreros at the centre of this matter in both Spain and America and this is the reason for the beginning of his teaching career in universities such as Princeton, the IIT in Chicago and Columbia in New York. After several attempts such as the failed prize of the Puertas de Europa competition Plaza Castilla Street in Madrid which was finally realized by Philip Johnson, Ábalos & Herreros at first and subsequently Herreros Arquitectos, built their first towers and hybrid complexes in the early years of the 21st Century such as the Woermann Complex in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (offices, housing, shopping, car-parking, public library and plaza); the 4 bio-climatic, Salburúa Towers in Vitoria (housing, offices, shopping and plazas, lakes and gardens); the Solar Tower in Valencia within the Sociópolis complex; and the Bank of Panama Tower (offices, shopping, and car-parking); all of which are completed and are occupied. The success of the first hybrid developments led to Herreros Arquitectos being selected for major international competitions such as the offices, housing, city-bus garages, children´s nursery and car-parking complex developed by the Paris RATP and the nuclear research installations at Cadarache where Herreros Arquitectos were awarded the second prize.
Two further projects in the hybrid complex field combine high-rise construction and a size sufficient to make them parts of the city themselves and they are worthy of mention. The first is the master plan Bjorvika complex in Oslo which needed a detailed upgrade for approval and comprises three major blocks which include housing, hotel, shopping, offices, public facilities and a substantial area of equipped and landscaped public space. The second is a project in Barcelona which is promoted by the private company ARC along with its subsidiaries for the construction of a major complex which includes a market, student accommodation, third-age residences, a specialist medical skyscraper, a shopping centre, car-parking, etc. which is at the discussion stage with representatives of the municipal authorities in Barcelona. The Internacional Conference Centre in Bogota (NAN 2013 prize for the best project abroad by a Spanish architect) and the Transport Interchange at Santiago de Compostela which were awarded after the respective international competitions in 2011 in themselves are enormous, hybrid complexes which can best be understood by reference to their technical detail for their complexity and their responsibility as city reordering elements for the zones where they are to be built.