CBRE Global Investors Announces 'Axis' - the Architectural Refurbishment of Plaza Colon, 1 Madrid

20 Jun 2018

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CBRE Global Investors announces ‘AXIS’ – the refurbishment project for the iconic Plaza Colon (Columbus Square), 1 Madrid located at one of the most prestigious business corridors of Madrid, where the districts of Chamberí, Centro and Salamanca meet. The complete new look and feel of the building is designed by the world-renowned architecture studio, Foster + Partners established by Lord Norman Foster in 1967. 

In January 2017, CBRE Global Investors acquired the 3,930 sqm building on behalf of one of its investment funds and appointed Foster + Partners to help transform the asset to one of the most attractive landmarks in the city. 

The four-story building’s innovative façade will be constructed using an emblematic diagrid structure that provides AXIS with a strong visual identity. The contemporary architecture of the exterior uses the latest parametric design technologies to optimize the building geometry. It combines a transparent façade with an outer mesh that modifies the intensity of Madrid’s sun during hotter months thereby minimizing energy consumption and maximizing the comfort level of tenants and guests. The robust construction system of stainless steel and glass minimizes maintenance costs and creates a unique and striking façade that is set to make AXIS an iconic reference for avant-garde architecture in Madrid, and one of the most important urban interventions to take place in the last few decades in the Spanish capital. 

The project name Axis reflects the location of the building, at the intersection of Plaza de Colón on the Paseo de la Castellana – a main artery that connects the south and north of the city and the longest avenue of this style in Europe. The site is also at the confluence of three adjacent neighborhoods with very different characteristics:

  • Chamberí: An authentic and traditionally residential district.
  • Centro: Gem of a modern hub reflected in the lifestyle, restaurants and design stores.
  • Salamanca: The area where luxury brands are located.

Plaza de Colón is of historical significance as the setting for some of the most important events in Spanish history since 1864. The plaza, originally called Plaza de Santiago (St. James Square), was renamed Plaza de Colón in 1893 to honor Christopher Columbus. The National Library, whose construction was a dynamic element of Spanish culture in the 18th century, contrasts with the Torres Colon, the 116-meter high office building built in 1976 and the modern sculpture by Fernando of Botero.

Lord Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners, said: “Situated at one of the most important intersections in Madrid, Axis is a new landmark for the city. It establishes a new vision for the existing 1970s structure, stripping it back to its essence and creating a flexible, future-proof building that will endure. Its striking façade will also nurture a new identity and sense of place for the people of Madrid

Antonio Simontalero, Head of Investment Operations in Spain and Portugal, CBRE Global Investors, said: “We anticipate that Axis will become a driving force for the commercial value of this area. From its strategic location, it is designed to provide a flagship HQ with a distinctive and unique seal of innovation, integration and avant-garde design, with focus on sustainability in one of the most visited and busiest squares in Madrid.”

The architecture studio Foster + Partners enjoys worldwide recognition and prestige. Many of its buildings have become icons in the cities where they have been built. In addition to becoming popular attractions for both tourists and citizens, they also form part of the city’s cultural heritage and are objects of study for architecture students and professionals from around the world.

Axis works under the most demanding parameters of quality and innovation. Foster + Partners’ distinguishing mark is to integrate and respect the principle of sustainability in each of its projects: Foster + Partners designs buildings with an integrated design approach that improve the quality of life of the building’s users.

The scheduled date for completion of the construction works is June 2019.

About CBRE Global Investors 
CBRE Global Investors is a global real asset investment management firm with $104.2 billion in assets under management* as of March 31, 2018. The firm sponsors investment programs across the risk/return spectrum for investors worldwide.

CBRE Global Investors is an independently operated affiliate of CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE). It harnesses the research, investment sourcing and other resources of the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2017 revenue) for the benefit of its investors. CBRE Group, Inc. has more than 80,000 employees (excluding affiliates) and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. For more information about CBRE Global Investors, please visit

*Assets under management (AUM) refers to the fair market value of real asset-related investments with respect to which CBRE Global Investors provides, on a global basis, oversight, investment management services and other advice and which generally consist of investments in real assets; equity in funds and joint ventures; securities portfolios; operating companies and real asset-related loans. This AUM is intended principally to reflect the extent of CBRE Global Investors’ presence in the global real asset market, and its calculation of AUM may differ from the calculations of other asset managers.

About Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners is a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design, rooted in sustainability, which was founded over fifty years ago in 1967 by Norman Foster. Since then, he and the team around him have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation for thoughtful and pioneering design, working as a single studio that is both ethnically and culturally diverse. The studio integrates the skills of architecture with engineering, both structural and environmental, urbanism, interior and industrial design, model and film making, aeronautics and many more – our collegiate working environment is similar to a compact university. These diverse skills make us capable of tackling a wide range of projects, particularly those of considerable complexity and scale. Design is at the core of everything that we do. We design buildings, spaces and cities; we listen, we question and we innovate.

The studio has established an international reputation with buildings such as the Hearst Headquarters in New York, Swiss Re’s London Headquarters, Millau Viaduct in France, the German Parliament in the Reichstag, Berlin, The Great Court for the British Museum, Headquarters for HSBC in Hong Kong and London, the ME Hotel in London, Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt, the Metro Bilbao, the Carré d’Art Nîmes, the sustainable Masdar development in Abu Dhabi, and research centres for Stanford University, California. Recent work includes, Buenos Aires City Hall, Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Crossrail Place in London, Chateau Margaux Winery in Bordeaux, Yacht Club de Monaco and Bloomberg’s new European headquarters in London. Currently, the practice is involved in projects such as the Al Haramain High Speed Rail project in Saudi Arabia, Norton Museum of Art, Florida, and Apple’s headquarters in California.

Norman Foster became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999. In 1997, he was appointed to the Order of Merit and in 1999 was granted a Life Peerage in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, taking the title of Lord Foster of Thames Bank.


For further information:

Minerva Piquero
[email protected]
(+34) 913539381

Rocio Nuñez
[email protected]
(+34) 913538787