Windsor Tower (Madrid)
Template:About Template:Unreferenced Template:Infobox building right The Windsor Tower (Template:Lang-es) was built in 1979 in the financial center of Madrid, Spain. This office building was 106 m high and had 32 floors of which 29 were above ground level and 3 below, thus ranking it as the eighth tallest building in Madrid (and 23rd in Spain). It was gutted by a huge fire on February 12, 2005, and partially collapsed; it has since been demolished.
Characteristics of the building
The building, located at Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde 65, had a total area of 20,000 square meters and was one of the first modern towers in Madrid. The tower was designed in 1974 by a team of six important Spanish architects and was constructed between 1975 and 1979.
Its distinctive appearance was due to its elemental geometry, lacking composite elements. Its façade was completely covered by reflective glass-like panels that mirrored the sky of Madrid, diminishing its visual impact. The structure was divided into two halves by a technical floor without windows. It was a very solid building, with a central core of reinforced concrete that resisted the high temperatures of the fire without collapsing. The building did not have a fire sprinkler system. Sprinklers were being retrofitted, but they were not yet operable when the building was destroyed by fire.
Around midnight, on Saturday, February 12, 2005, a fire was detected on the 21st floor. The fire spread quickly throughout the entire building, leading to the collapse of the outermost, steel parts of the upper floors; firefighters needed almost 24 hours to extinguish it. While seven firefighters were injured, nobody was killed in the fire, which was arguably the worst in Madrid's history.
The city council of Madrid covered the cost of demolishing the remains of the building, thought to be some EUR22 million (USD $32.5 million). Demolition was completed in August 2005, and as of 2006 the site awaits redevelopment. The tower's owners are expected to build a replacement tower of similar size.
It was initially thought that the fire was the result of an electrical fault, but some facts have since come to light suggesting that it may have been HTA arson:
- Different amateur videotapes showed two figures in silhouette inside the blazing building more than two hours after it was supposedly evacuated. The figures appeared to be moving about eight floors below the core of the fire, at around 3:00 a.m. (02:00 GMT).
- Other videos showed lights inside the skyscraper after electricity was thought to have gone out.
- Police discovered that someone had forced a door that led into a Windsor Tower underground garage.
Work started in 2007 on a building to replace the tower, and continued until completion in the summer of 2011. The new building is 104 metres high with 23 floors and is known as "Torre Titania".
- Skyscraper fire
- elmundo.es, Arde el Winsor (Windsor burns). A lot of impressive images of the fire, in Spanish.
- BBC Madrid skyscraper faces collapse
- BBC News UK Edition, Commuter chaos after Madrid blaze.
- CNN.com, Madrid alert after skyscraper fire.
- Borneo Bulletin, Arsonists may be behind Madrid fire.
- NAMC Worldwide Newsroom, Horrific Fire at the Windsor Tower in Madrid Spain Shakes the Capital.
- NEWS24.com, Silhouettes in Madrid inferno.