Architecture Week is in full swing here in Madrid and I’m all over it like grease on a day-old churro. I’ve decided to stick with some of the more obscure buildings of Madrid and it’s as if I’m discovering a whole new side to the city. My stop yesterday took me to the Sunflower Building.
How could one resist such a sweet name?
The Sunflower building is located on José Ortega y Gasset and I’ve probably passed it hundreds of times, totally unaware of its absolute coolness.
Hidden away on the corner of one of the most luxurious streets in Madrid, the Sunflower building is a residential structure with huge square footage and private elevators that lead to individual homes. It’s pijo, but not in the typical, pretentious way so common in today’s luxury buildings. Its got character and history and that’s why I like it.
The building goes back to 1966 and was designed by Catalan architect José Antonio Coderch. As its name suggests, the architecturally distinct design mimics that of a sunflower, precisely angled to achieve the optimal level of sunlight throughout the day.
On top of the unique exterior, the building has a wrap-around interior walkway that uses a very creative engineering feat to deflect street noise. The chaotic screams of the noisy traffic on the streets below are replaced with the soothing sounds of trickling water from various fountains located throughout the walkway. I know it sounds kind of impossible considering the high levels of traffic noise in this area, but if you get a chance, sneak up the stairs one day and I swear you’ll feel as if you were strolling around an Andalucian patio. It really is impressive.
So that’s part two of Architecture Geek Week. Still to come: flying saucer building and fancy toilet displays!