Coca-Cola’s new Spanish HQ is refreshingly eco friendly and even boasts a LEED ’gold’ certification

Coca-Cola is turning green, at least if its Spanish corporate headquarters, which has been completed in Madrid, is anything to go by.

Twenty per cent of materials used were recycled and organic, and all materials were locally sourced

Designed by local practice La Puerta + Asensio and built by Ferrovial, the four-storey, 7,500ft2 building is the first Coca-Cola headquarters in the world to be awarded a LEED “gold” certification. This stamp, which is issued by the US Green Building Council, promotes responsible environmental design and construction and considers aspects such as plot development, innovation, sustainable design and energy efficiency. Only two other Coca-Cola buildings have been awarded the credit - the company museum in Atlanta and a bottling plant in Brazil.

The building is formed by two interlocking rectangular blocks clad in dark granite with horizontal window strips. At the junction where the two blocks meet, the stone facade is replaced by an intricate tracery of glazed curtain walling. This is formed by series of undulating glass panes aligned at various angles from the face of building. The delicate and complex geometric pattern created here forms a strong contrast with the solid rectilinear form elsewhere.

The building’s orientation maximises natural light and solar gain with a double-skin facade that acts as a permanent solar canopy. Twenty per cent of materials used were recycled and organic (including all sealants and adhesives), and all materials were locally sourced. Internally, solar conduit installations and fibre-optic sensors also help optimise natural light. Some 140 24kWp photovoltaic modules and 16 solar panels generate 70% of hot water, and a sewage and greywater system has reduced water consumption 40%.

Photography by Roland Halbe