Ebro Environmental Centre

Works process


The building location has a special value based on the relationship between the built-up area of the city and the urban banks of the Ebro river, recuperated for the 2008 Expo, forming a linear park that accompanies the river on its way through Zaragoza.

The project is based on two fundamental ideas.  The first idea is in response to the special urban and landscape importance of the location, via a formal definition and configuration of the building that suggests an intense relationship with the landscape; the second aims to express the intrinsic relationship between the environmental commitment of the project and its materiality and the building programme.

The relationship with the adjacent urban spaces and the topographic features of the site become active conditions for the implementation of the building, making the levels of the different floors and entrances coincide with the already existing ones.  These relationships can clearly be seen in the project section that also expresses the extension of the public space of the entrance, via the roof and the configuration of the building as a platform-viewpoint onto the Ebro river.  The contrast between the solid podium of the platform, a continuation of the walls of the pre-existing electrical substation, and the lightness of the glass and wood pavilion that rests on this level, is one of the formal characteristics of the project, which also responds to the functional organisation of the different uses.

The roof is an essential element within the landscape design of the building as well as the main image that the residential buildings, which look out onto the park from the town side, have of the building.  As an extension of the outer public space and accessed from the hall, the roof is configured as a viewpoint at different levels, which are joined together by gentle ramps and a terraced grandstand, designed as an outdoor amphitheatre for possible recreational uses.  On the other hand, the programmatic demand for a certain pedagogical character in the environmental commitment of the project, which can be seen in the choice of construction as well as energy solutions and materials, is clearly visible on the roof, with its ecological and landscaped decking, solar panels and photovoltaic panels, that provide electricity for night-time lighting, via continuous flushmounted light fittings around the perimeter of the classroom and the offices, converting the building, at night, into a lighthouse in the park landscape.

Technical sheet

Location: Avenue Echegaray y Caballero s/n. Zaragoza.

Architects: Magén Arquitectos

Developer: Municipality of  Zaragoza

Construction: Ferrovial Agroman SA

Competition: 2005

Project: 2006

Works: 2007-2009/2011

Photographs: Jesús Granada (2,3,4,6); Pedro Pegenaute (1,5,7)

Area: 1.948,17 m2


RTF Sustainability Award. Honorable Mention. 2015.

A+ Architizer Awards. Finalist. 2014.

MEA2013 Awards to Sustainable Mediterranean Architecture. First Prize. 2013. Ebro Environmental Centre.

RIUSO 02. Rigenerazione Urbana Sostenibile. Selected Project. 2013. Ebro Environmental Centre.

Giancarlo Ius Gold Medal. First Prize. 2011.

XI Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennial. Finalist and Mention Young Project, 2011.

Biennial Barbara Cappochin. Internacional Prize. Finalist. 2011.

Biennial Barbara Cappochin. Best Detial Prize . Finalist. 2011.

Arquitectura Plus 2011 Awards. Sustainability. First Prize

V Architectural Awards BigMat 2011. Third Prize.

XXXI Prize “Ricardo Magdalena”. Regional Council of Zaragoza. First Prize. 2010.

SAIE Selection 10. First Prize Category Wood

11th Contract.world Award. Category “New Generation/Offices” Second Prize

20+10+X World Community Awarsd. 7th Cycle. First Prize.

II Biennal Young Spanish Architects Arquia/ Próxima 2008/2009. Finalist. 2010.

International Prize for Sustainable Architecture Fassa Bortolo. 2010. Shortlisted

VI European Landscape Award Rosa Barba. Shortlisted. 2010.

XXV Prize Aragon Institute of Architects “Fernando García Mercadal”. Accésit. 2010.

VII Awards 3 of  Architecture and Urbanism. Finalist. 2010.

1st Prize in Project Competition, 2005.


Innovazione sostenibile per l´architettura. Maggioli Editore. 2015

European Style. Ed. Shanglin. 2013

New Concept. Urban Landscape. Ed. Phoenix. 2013

«Magen Arquitectos: Arquitectura 2002-2012», 2012.

Liquid landscapes. Catalogue of European Biennial of Landscape Rosa Barba. 2012.

Architecture of low-energy consumption. Ed. Ifengspace. 2012.

Arquitectura sostenible. Innovación y diseño. Ed. Linksbooks, 2012.

IW Magazine, nº 84, 2012.

T-18 Magazine, nº 4, 2012.

Aitim, nº 277, 2012.

Superurbano. Sustainable urban regeneration. Barbara Cappochin Fondazione. 2011.

XI Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennal. 2011

1000x European Architecture. Braun Publishing. 2011

Arch-Manual 4. Design-Concept-Script-Process. Aadcu. 2011

101 Small Buildings I. Ed. Capress

Landscape design. Nº 7/2011. 2011

Catalogue Arquía/Próxima. Young Spanish Architects. 08/09

Detail German Edition, nº 7-8/2011, 2011

Detail English Edition, nº 5/2011, 2011.

Camacol Urbana, nº 51, 2011.

Detail España, nº 6/2011, 2011.

Vía Construcción, nº 95, 2011.

SpainContract nº 14, 2011.

Arquitectura Viva. Nº 130, 2010.

C3 Korea, nº 312, 2010.

A10, nº 33, 2010.

Mark Magazine, nº 27, 2010

Architektura & Biznes, nº 9(218), 2010.

Catalogue “7th international Prize for Sustainable Architecture Fassa Bortolo ”, 2010.

Architecture+Design, nº 11/2010, 2010

Architecture & Culture, nº 350, 2010

Details, nº 22, 2010

A+A magazine, nº 8/2010, 2010.

Architecture+Detail, nº 6/2010, 2010.

Topos nº 71, 2010

Monocle, nº 37, 2010

Abitare Bulgaria, nº 311, 2010

Vía Construcción nº 84, 2010.

Arquitectura y Diseño, nº 114, 2010.

Rum 08/10, 2010.

Infopower nº 128, 2010.

EmeDos nº 138, 2010.

NAN Construcción nº 55, 2010.

Infodomus, Construcción Sostenible, nº 2.

Plan de Acompañamiento de la Expo 2008.