The striking glass exterior of this Health Department building in Bilbao, Spain isn’t just a pretty facade. Coll-Barreau Arquitectos conceptualized the folded facade in response to the city’s restrictive building code that requires stepped setbacks for all multistory buildings along its main streets. The result was this eye-catching hybrid that boosts the structure’s energy efficiency in addition to making it stand out on the boulevard. Its increased energy efficiency is afforded by the building’s double skin. There are two major benefits to the design: noise from the busy boulevard is noticeably reduced and solar heat gain is decreased via radiation reduction and a breathable wall system.
To further preserve energy, the building holds meetings in a daylit, two story atrium that opens to a roof deck.