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Torre Picasso
Torre Picasso 06Aug2008.jpg
General information
Location Pablo Picasso Square, Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid, Spain
Coordinates 40°27′01″N 3°41′33″W / 40.45028°N 3.6925°W / 40.45028; -3.6925
Status Complete
Constructed 1982-1988[1]
Roof 157 m (515 ft)[2]
Technical details
Floor count 46 above, 5 below[2]
Floor area 121,000 m2 (1,302,000 sq ft)[2]
Elevators 26[2]
Companies involved
Architect(s) Minoru Yamasaki; in collaboration with Jorge Mir Valls and Rafael Coll Pujol[1]
Contractor Construcciones y Contratas
Owner FCC[1]
Management PER Gestora Inmobiliaria[1]

Torre Picasso (Picasso Tower) is a skyscraper in Madrid, Spain. From 1988 till 2007 it was the tallest building in Madrid with its 157 m (515 ft) and 43 floors[2]. Torre Picasso is located next to the Pablo Picasso Square, within the commercial complex AZCA along the Paseo de la Castellana. It was designed by Minoru Yamasaki.



Planning & Construction

The Torre Picasso was part of a plan to build a huge block of modern buildings in the expansion area of northern Madrid. This commercial area is better known as A.Z.C.A., for which constructions started in 1970. Five years later in 1975 planning of the tower was agreed. Unión de Explosivos Río Tinto, S.A., owner of the site, awarded the construction of the tower to American architect Minoru Yamakasi, in collaboration with architects Jorge Mir Valls and Rafael Coll Pujol. In 1980 Minoru Yamakasi received the license for building the highest office complex of Madrid.[1]

Construction began late 1982, and the building was inaugurated in December 1988. During this period some unfortunate events happened and work was relaunched in 1985 by the new owners Portland Valderrivas S.A. and Inmobiliaria Asón S.A., under the direction of Architect Fernando Alas.[1]

Torre Picasso was constructed by and is currently the property of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas[3]. It is currently managed by PER Gestora Inmobiliaria, S.L.[1]

Skyline position

Since its inauguration, Torre Picasso has been Madrid's tallest office building, surpassing Torre de Madrid. However, the Torrespaña, a television tower, reaches higher with its 231 m (757.87 ft). Notable surrounding skyscrapers are Torre Europa, Banco de Bilbao Tower and Windsor Tower, now demolished after a fire.

Since 2007, the Torre Espacio surpassed the Picasso Tower[4]. Three other buildings are on their way to even go higher in 2008: Torre Caja Madrid, Torre de Cristal and Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso.

The Torre Picasso was also Spain's tallest building until in 2001 it was overtaken by the Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm, Alicante, Spain.[3]


  • Shortly after 9/11, ETA confirmed that in 1999 they had planned to demolish this skyscraper using the 1,700 kg of explosives loaded into two Madrid-bound vans intercepted that year near Calatayud (Zaragoza) by the Spanish Civil Guard (the first stopped en route on December 21 and the second found not far from there the next day; an incident known as "la caravana de la muerte", the caravan of death).[5]

Figures and statistics

Night view

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

  • Height: 157 m (515.09 ft) above ground (171 m (561.02 ft) including basement)
  • 51 floors, breakup (missing one, fix please):
    • 5 basement floors (1st is commercial area, others are parking lots)
    • down floor is used as main entry
    • 42 floors for offices
    • 44th floor used for machinery, e.g. the air conditioning distribution system
    • 45th floor used for the heliport
  • Area: 71,700 m2 (771,772 sq ft) office space, 121,000 m2 (1,302,433 sq ft) in total
  • Size per floor: 38 m × 50 m (124.67 ft × 164.04 ft)
  • 26 elevators, of which 18 to office floors in 3 groups of 6:
    • 1st-18th floors at 2.5 m/s (8.20 ft/s)
    • 18th-32nd floors at 4 m/s (13.12 ft/s)
    • 32nd-43rd floors at 6 m/s (19.69 ft/s) (apparently fastest in Spain)
  • Glass façade surface: 9,000 m2 (96,875 sq ft)
  • Parking space: 837
  • Foreseen population: 6,000 persons
  • Daily visitors: 1,500 persons


The entrance arch

A notable feature of Torre Picasso is the wide entrance arch, supporting the whole façade over it, with an underground steel structure serving to reinforce it. The gap under this arch is covered by a special security glass named STADIP (the one used in Torre Agbar in Barcelona).

In August 2004, the Otis Elevator Company was awarded a contract to modernise the elevators in the building, to incorporate some of the most advanced elevator technology available.[6]

Cultural depictions


It is strictly forbidden to take 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

Coordinates: 40°27′01″N 3°41′33″W / 40.45028°N 3.6925°W / 40.45028; -3.6925

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