Torre Picasso

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Template:Infobox building

Torre Picasso (Picasso Tower) is a skyscraper in Madrid, Spain designed by Minoru Yamasaki. From 1988 until 2007 it was the tallest building in Madrid, measuring Template:Convert and with 43 floors.<ref name="TorrePicassoFacts"/> Torre Picasso is located next to the Pablo Picasso Square, within the commercial complex AZCA along the Paseo de la Castellana.


Planning & construction

The Torre Picasso was part of a plan to build a large block of modern buildings in the expansion area of northern Madrid. Construction of this area, better known as AZCA, began in 1970 and in 1975 developer, Unión de Explosivos Río Tinto, S.A., awarded design of the tower to American architect Minoru Yamakasi, in collaboration with Jorge Mir Valls and Rafael Coll Pujol. In 1980, Yamakasi received a license to building the highest office complex of Madrid.<ref name="TorrePicassoHistory"/>

Construction began late 1982, and the building opened in December 1988. During this period, construction stalled for a period until new owners Portland Valderrivas S.A. and Inmobiliaria Asón S.A., purchased the incomplete structure and relaunched work in 1985 under the direction of Architect Fernando Alas.<ref name="TorrePicassoHistory"/> In 2002, FCC regained control of the building through a purchase of Portland Valderrivas.<ref name=takeover>Template:Cite press release</ref>

Torre Picasso was owned by Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas until December 2011<ref name="AtEmporis">Template:Cite web</ref> It is currently managed by PER Gestora Inmobiliaria, S.L.<ref name="TorrePicassoHistory"/> Pontegadea Inmobiliaria, a division of Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A. purchased the structure for €400 million.<ref name=dominguez>Template:Cite news</ref>

Skyline position

At its opening, Torre Picasso was Madrid's tallest office building, surpassing Torre de Madrid. However, the Torrespaña, a television tower, reaches higher with its Template:Convert. Notable surrounding skyscrapers are Torre Europa, Banco de Bilbao Tower and Windsor Tower, now demolished after a fire.

The Torre Picasso was Spain's tallest building until in 2001 it was overtaken by the Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm, Alicante.<ref name="AtEmporis"/> In 2007, the Torre Espacio also surpassed the Picasso Tower<ref name="AtEmporis"/> and since 2009 three additional taller buildings were constructed: Torre Caja Madrid, Torre de Cristal and Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso.


On December 21, 1999, the Spanish Civil Guard stopped a van packed with Template:Convert of explosives that Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, the Basque separatist group, was planning to use to demolish the skyscraper. The following day, the guard discovered another van near Calatayud (Zaragoza) with an attitional Template:Convert of explosives. The incident became known as "la caravana de la muerte" (The caravan of death).<ref name=orb>Template:Cite web</ref>

Figures and statistics

Following information can be found on the official website of Torre Picasso:


The structure is has a rectangular footprint with a windowless two-storey base. A wide round arch, resting on an underground steel structure for support, serves as the entrance and supports the façade above. The opening under this arch is covered by a special security glass named STADIP (the one used in Torre Agbar in Barcelona). Windows on floors 3 through 43 are grouped in twos divided by a slender pier. The groupings are divided by larger piers into 15 bays across the front of the building and 11 bays on the sides. The façade is covered in white aluminum and the corners of the structure are chamfered.<ref name="TorrePicassoFacts"/> The top two floors are also windowless and the parapet flares to form a cornice. Elevators, in three groupings, occupy a bay in the rear of the structure along with stairways.

In August 2004, the Otis Elevator Company received a contract to modernise the elevators in the building and incorporate some of the most advanced elevator technology available.<ref name=otis>Template:Cite press release</ref>

Cultural depictions

  • The tower was previously home to the Canal+ TV studios
  • It was featured in the last scenes of Alejandro Amenábar's 1997 movie Open Your Eyes. Lead character César (portrayed by Eduardo Noriega) commits suicide by jumping from the Torre Picasso.<ref name="AtEmporis"/>


Template:Unreferenced section Building owners forbid any photos of the tower or any other construction from within the perimeter of the property. Guards will demand you leave the premises at the mere sight of your camera, citing security concerns and image rights. Nevertheless, guards have proven unable to present any applicable regulation in writing or refer to the relevant authority in order to request permission to shoot.

While the owners present the tower as an emblematic symbol of Madrid for the citizens, for photography enthusiasts the tower has become a symbol of restriction and prohibition.



External links


Template:Minoru Yamasaki