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MAGIC FOREST Luxury Eco-Shoping Center, Sevilla, Spain by Luis De Garrido Architects

Project name:
MAGIC FOREST Luxury Eco-Shoping Center
Architecture firm:
Luis De Garrido Architects
Sevilla, Spain
Tools used:
Principal architect:
Luis De Garrido
Design team:
Built area:
41.489’27 m²
Site area:
5.569’13 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Promociones Milla de Oro S.A.
In Process
Commercial, Shopping Center

Luis De Garrido: Magic Forest is a shopping center for large luxury brands in the "golden mile" area of ​​Seville, Spain. The building aims to symbolize a mixture of sensations and symbols: Walking through a fresh forest, crossing a bamboo forest, feeling surrounded by the crystals of a geode, precious stones, diamonds, the joy of the city of Seville, light night of the lanterns of the Seville Fair, luxury, the symbol of Seville ecology, well-being, ... All these elements have been mixed and have been the origin of the Magic Forest design. An ecological shopping center only for big luxury brands.

The building consists of 8 commercial floors, a commercial (and social) basement, and two garage floors. The roof is landscaped and is protected by a structure that generates shade and cool, and that integrates solar thermal and photovoltaic captors, as well as a rainwater collection system.

The shopping center has a very special architectural structure as it is intended to house small exclusive shops for the big luxury brands. The different commercial spaces have a very small surface since they sell luxury items and want to provide a personalized service to their customers. Some retail spaces only allow a single customer to enter, and a new customer is not admitted until the previous customer has left. All the spaces are articulated around two central covered patios, also with a very small surface area, again to avoid crowds, and that few people circulate through the different general spaces, which are distributed in proportion to the different luxury commercial spaces.

The perimeter of the shopping center is full of exclusive small cafes and small restaurants, of low surface to guarantee exclusivity and adequate treatment for few customers. These spaces reinforce the privacy as they are surrounded by vegetation of all kinds, in fact the restaurant tables are separated from each other by different green elements.

The perimeter of the shopping center consists of two architectural envelopes. An external one made up of a metal framework that supports the sunscreens, and an internal one made up of a four-layer wall. The interior space is 4 m. wide and allows a perimeter circulation. This circulation space is full of plant elements that, in addition to providing additional perimeter protection against solar radiation, allows customers to feel at all times as if they were walking through a forest, a magical forest full of surprises. The two architectural envelopes are adequately studied to protect the building from solar radiation, and prevent it from heating up in summer. At the same time, a stream of fresh air is generated from the subsoil and passes through these perimeter spaces (whose floor is made up of metal grids), providing a cool environment for visitors. The building has been designed in such a way that it is able to cooling by itself in summer and heating by itself in winter, due to its special bioclimatic design, and without the need for appliances, so it does not consume energy either in heating or cooling. In the same way it is illuminated and ventilated in a natural way, without the need for artifacts.

The building is self-sufficient in energy since the little energy it needs is obtained by itself. It is also self-sufficient in water, since the little water it needs is obtained by itself.

The building has been designed using prefabricated and modular elements, which are assembled with screws, so it can be assembled and disassembled as many times as necessary, without generating waste.

The surface built by plants is as follows:

Basement -3:                     4,975'91 m2

Basement -2:                     4,840'10 m2

Basement -1:                     4,569'82 m2

Ground floor:                     4,509'83 m2

First floor:              4,509'83 m2

Second floor:                     4,509'83 m2

Third floor:                        4,509'83 m2

Fourth floor:                      4,509'83 m2

Green roof covered:          4,554'29 m2

1. Real zero energy consumption, at the lowest possible Price

Magic Forest has a real zero energy consumption (without economic extra cost) because three strategies have been followed.

A) In the first place, the brands included in the luxury shopping center have been adequately informed, letting them know the energy that each device consumes, and the equivalent economic cost they pay for it. They have been informed of the direct costs and indirect costs (consumption, repairs, maintenance, etc.). They have also been informed of all the side effects that the use of these devices has (vibrations, noise, odors, etc.) and their negative impact on their health, well-being and happiness (as well as that of their clients)

Alternatively, they have been invited to imagine a life without being surrounded by artifacts, eliminating all the economic and fiscal ties that this entails (a life without breakdowns, without expenses, without fees, without maintenance, without repairs, and without paying water bills, no electricity bills). In this way, an awareness of the big brands has been achieved, which have finally rejected most of the usual artifacts that are usually incorporated in shopping centers, or in any store.

B) The building has been designed in a very special way so that it is thermally self-regulating and does not need any heating, cooling, or ventilation devices). However, and to guarantee the absolute well-being of its occupants, and the demands of the most demanding customers, a small heating/cooling system has been incorporated by solar underfloor heating (based on solar thermal collectors, and 10 geothermal heat pumps) to help heating the building on the coldest days of the year, and to help cooling it the hottest days of the year. In the same way, it has been designed to be naturally ventilated, without mechanical devices, and to light up naturally during the day. Several de-humidification systems have also been available, distributed throughout the building, in order to reduce the humidity level, and leave it at 40%.

C) The building incorporates a minimal amount of electromechanical devices. Only those that can be considered essential for our way of life.

The following is a list of the electromechanical devices incorporated into Magic Forest, as well as their total power:

Cold room (10)                                   10.000 w. (average power)

Induction hob (10)                 8.000 w.

Oven (10)                                           20.000 w.

Microwave      (10)                             7.000 w.

Washing machine (2)             1.800 w.

Led and video screens (100)  10.000 w.

Computers (100)                                10.000 w.

Led lighting                                        80.000 w.

Purification system                10.000 w.

Heat pump      (10)                             30.000 w.

Total: 186.800 w. (4’5 w./m2)

The total power of the building's artifacts is very low, since due to its special bioclimatic design, it eventually only needs 10 small geothermal heat pumps as a complement for the heating and cooling of the coldest and hottest spaces respectively. However, to supply the electrical energy to power all the appliances in the building, a set of photovoltaic captors with a power of 186,800 watts should be installed, at a high economic cost. To reduce the cost of the photovoltaic system, its power must be reduced, and this can be done, since not all the devices must be operating at the same time. In this sense, several possible consumption scenarios have been designed and it has been concluded that it is possible not to exceed a power of 125,000 watts, alternating the use of the different artifacts.

For this reason, a simple control system has been incorporated so that at no time the power of 125,000 watts is exceeded, disconnecting non-essential devices when other essential devices must be connected. In this way, the economic cost of the photovoltaic solar electricity generation system can be very low. Specifically, a photovoltaic solar energy supply equipment has been planned that generates a power of 125,000 w. by means of the photovoltaic cells integrated in the protective structure of the covered plant (an approximate area of ​​290 m2 of high-efficiency photovoltaic sensors), and at an economic cost of 275,000 euro (0.65% of the total cost of the building). The power generated continuously oscillates around 125,000 watts., so you just have to be careful to choose the right time to use the heat pumps, the water purification system, the countertops and the ovens, and alternate the use of multimedia devices.

The total energy consumed by Magic Forest (Surface 41,489'27 m2) is very low (13'73 kwha/m2), and of course much lower than the 50 kwha/m2 that the ridiculous regulations of many countries require to be considered as "building with zero energy consumption”.

                                               Potencia                   funcionamiento        energía año                              energía/m2

Cool room (10)                       10.000 w.        24 h. * 365      87.600 kwh     2’11 kwha/m2

Induction hob (10)                  8.000 w.          2 h. * 365        5.840               0’14

Over (10)                                20.000 w.        6 h. * 365        43.800 1’05

Microwave      (10)                 7.000 w.          1 h. * 365        2.555               0’06

Whasing machine (2) 1.800 w.          3 h. * 365        1.971               0’04

Led screen (100)                     10.000 w.        8 h. * 365        29.200 0’70

Computers (100)                     10.000 w.        8 h. * 365        29.200 0’70

Led lighting                            80.000 w.        10 h. * 365      292.000           7’03

Purification system     10.000 w.        2 h. * 365        7.300               0’17

Heat pump (10)                      30.000 w.        10 h. * 240      7.200               1’73

                                    Total energy consumed per m2          13’73 kwha/m2

2. Advanced bioclimatic design, which allows the building to be heated internally in winter without the need for heating

The architectural structure of Magic Forest has a studied and advanced bioclimatic design, which allows it to self-regulate thermally every day of the year, maintaining a comfortable interior temperature at all times (between 22ºc and 25ºc), without the need to use electromechanical heating devices and cooling. Therefore, the building must be able to reconfigure itself in a continuous simple way, so that it behaves properly, both in winter (generating heat by itself), and in summer (generating cool by itself).

In winter the building heats up due to direct solar radiation and the greenhouse effect. Most of the windows have been oriented to the south, allowing access to the maximum possible solar radiation. The wooden and colored glass solar protections (located on the outer envelope of the building) have been arranged in a very studied way, allowing access to the maximum amount of solar radiation in winter, and at the same time, preventing solar radiation from entering in summer. In the same way, direct rolar radiation penetrates through the two large central courtyards. The surface of the windows exposed to solar radiation on December 21 is about 910 m2, and it is capable of generating an average calorific power during the day of about 450,000 watts in winter (that is to say about 10.8 w./m2 of built surface, and about 35 w./m2 of useful surface). The glasses have a high level of thermal and acoustic insulation, which allows the heat energy they generate not to escape to the outside through them ((4 + 4) -18argon- (8 + 8)).

At the same time, in winter the cold air inlet hatches from the cooling galleries in the basement of the building are closed and the upper windows are closed. The solar chimneys located on the roof garden are also closed.

On the coldest days of the year the underfloor heating is activated, powered by a system of 10 geothermal heat pumps. The heat pumps only have a power of about 30,000 watts integrated into a geothermal system, which provides a cooling and heating power 4 times higher, of about 120,000 w. beak. The occupants of the building and the energy losses of the electromechanical devices provide an additional heat output of about 105,000 watts. In total, the heating power in winter can therefore reach around 675,000 watts. (about 16'26 w./m2 of useful surface, and about 52 w./m2 of useful surface). As a consequence, the building maintains a minimum temperature of about 22ºc in winter and does not need mechanical heating systems, except for the eventual partial collaboration of a geothermal heat pump, which only needs to be activated for about three months a year.

In short, in winter the building heats up by itself, in two ways:

A) Avoiding getting cold. Due to the high level of exterior thermal insulation, and having most of the glazed surfaces only to the south. In winter, it is heated by the greenhouse effect during the day, and accumulates the heat generated in the internal architectural components (load-bearing walls and very heavy slabs) with high thermal inertia. During the night the heat remains inside the building due to the high level of exterior insulation, and the existence of the double perimeter glass skin.

B) Heating naturally. Due to its careful and special bioclimatic design, and its perfect north-south orientation. The building is heated by the greenhouse effect, direct solar radiation, and eventually by means of an underfloor heating system, powered by photovoltaic energy, and which has a geothermal heat pump. The building remains hot throughout the night (without any energy consumption), due to its high internal thermal inertia, and the high level of external insulation.

3. Advanced bioclimatic design, which allows the building to cool internally in summer without the need for air conditioning

The building has an internal duct system that collects the cooler air from outside (on the north face always shaded) and channels it under the ground, to an underground framework, where it cools down to a temperature of about 18ºc. Fresh air enters the basement, and from there it is distributed throughout all rooms, especially through the large covered central patio, and through various internal openings in each room. At the same time, the solar chimneys (located in the upper part of the central covered patios) are opened, to let out the warmer air accumulated in the upper part of the central patios. In this way, a stream of fresh air is created that runs through all the spaces of the building, refreshing them as it passes.

The garden roof has a double upper skin, in which plant surfaces, glazed surfaces, thermal solar collectors and photovoltaic solar collectors are integrated. This envelope creates shade on the deck and provides a cool environment for high-end restaurants and cafes. In a complementary way, the windows are equipped with sliding solar protections that protect them from indirect solar radiation. In summer, the exterior shutters located to the south, east and west are partially or totally closed, and the building is illuminated by indirect solar radiation from the north face that is distributed to all rooms through the large central covered patio (of this mode, it lights up naturally, and does not heat up). As a consequence, the building maintains a maximum temperature of about 25ºC in summer, and does not need electromechanical air conditioning systems. Only simple “peltier effect” cooling systems have been incorporated). On specific very hot days, the solar underfloor heating can be activated, which cools it by means of a geothermal heat pump, powered by photovoltaic solar energy (the building remains cool, but due to the demands of high purchasing power customers it is has installed this system to ensure your comfort at all times. The system only works in stores located in the southern zone, which is the hottest).

In short, in summer, the building is naturally cooled in three ways:

A) Avoiding getting hot. Due to its adequate thermal insulation located on the external part of the architectural envelopes; arranging most of the glazed surface on the south façade; and having solar protections for direct and indirect solar radiation (a different type of protection for each of the holes, depending on their orientation).

The design of the building has been inspired by a forest, having designed a complex structure based on a latticework of architectural components that provide complex shaded interior spaces, protecting them from the strong solar radiation outside of Seville. This architectural framework forms a double architectural envelope with solar protections (made of wood and lacquered glass) creating a perimeter space with an intermediate temperature between the interior and exterior environments. The solar protections have been arranged in a very studied way in such a way that they allow solar radiation to pass into the building in winter and instead not in summer.

B) Cooling down naturally. Due to an architectural air cooling system through underground galleries. The external ventilation air enters the different interior spaces of the building through a labyrinth of underground galleries. As you go through all these galleries, the night air gives up all its heat to the ground, and gradually cools down. In this way the fresh air enters the interior of the building. Finally, the air runs through all its interior spaces and refreshes them constantly and continuously.

C) Accumulating the cool of the night. Due to its high thermal inertia (on the inside of the enclosures) and its adequate insulation (on the outside of the enclosures), the interior of the building cools itself throughout the night. Furthermore, due to its high thermal inertia, the building remains cool for almost the entire next day.

D) Extracting the hot air from the building through two solar chimneys located on the two central courtyards. The air inside the building heats up throughout the day, thus becoming less dense and rising, escaping through the solar chimneys located on the roof. In this way, a suction current is generated for the fresh air that enters the building through the underground galleries, and at the same time extracts the overheated air from the building at all times, keeping it fresh at all times.

4. Self-sufficiency in energy

Magic Forest It is self-sufficient in energy, so it does not need to be connected to the electrical network. However, it has been connected to the grid in order to have an alternative source of energy.

This energy self-sufficiency has been achieved through a set of complementary strategies:

A) An optimal bioclimatic design has been made to minimize the need for energy. In the design of the building, all kinds of bioclimatic strategies have been used to ensure that it consumes the least possible amount of energy, lights up naturally, ventilates naturally, and regulates itself thermally, every day of the year. As a result, it is self-cooling in summer, and self-heating in winter. In the same way, during the day the building lights up naturally, every day of the year, without the need for artificial lights.

B) Only essential electrical appliances have been incorporated into the building, and which are also very low-power consumption.

C) Artificial lighting systems based on low energy consumption luminaires have been used.

D) A photovoltaic electricity generation system with a power of 125,000 watts peak has been incorporated, to provide the little electrical energy that the house needs. The photovoltaic solar collectors have been integrated into the component glass of the enveloping roof.

E) The building has a geothermal underfloor heating system. Ten holes of about 100 m. deep have been made, in which a stream of water cools in summer and heats up in winter. This geothermal system allows the energy consumption of the heat pumps that are distributed in the hottest and coldest parts of the building to be reduced by 25%.

5. Self-sufficiency in water

Magic Forest is self-sufficient in water. That is, it does not need to be connected to municipal water supply systems (although it has been connected to the drinking water network in order to have an alternative source of water, if necessary).

The water necessary for human consumption, for human hygiene, and for the irrigation of crops and green areas is obtained from several complementary sources:

A) Groundwater. Drilling has been carried out in order to obtain water from underground aquifers, which can be used directly for irrigation (in fact, a previously existing irrigation well has been repaired). The water thus obtained is filtered and purified, until it becomes fit for human consumption. The last stage of purification and naturalization of the water is carried out by means of a triple membrane reverse osmosis system, which regulates the characteristics of the resulting water by means of an electronic processor.

B) Rain water. The rainwater that falls on the garden roof of the building is collected and through a simple system of downspouts, it is filtered and taken to a reservoir. The water can be used for irrigation and toilet cisterns, and also conveniently treated by a reverse osmosis system, it is suitable for human consumption.

C) Recycling of gray water. The gray water generated by the building is filtered, treated and used to irrigate the garden.

6. Maximum ecological level

Magic Forest has been designed scrupulously complying with 39 ecological indicators that Luis De Garrido has identified in order to achieve the highest possible ecological level in any type of construction. These indicators are the following:

Optimization of resources. Natural and artificial

A) Level of use of natural resources

B) Level of use of durable materials

C) Utilization level of recovered materials

D) Reusability of the materials used

E) Level of use of reusable materials

F) Repairing capacility of the materials used

G) Level of use of recycled materials

H) Recycling capacity of the materials

I) Optimization level of the resources used

Decrease in energy consumption

a) Energy consumed in obtaining materials

b) Energy consumed in the transport of materials

c) Energy consumed in the transport of labor

d) Energy consumed in the building construction process

e)  Energy consumed by the building throughout its useful life

f) Level of technological adequacy to satisfy human needs

g) Energy efficiency of bioclimatic architectural design

h) Building thermal inertia level

i) Energy consumed in the process of demolishing or dismantling the building

Promotion of natural energy sources

1. Solar energy utilization level

2. Geothermal energy utilization level

3. Other renewable energy utilization level

Reduction of waste and emissions

1a. Level of waste and emissions generated in obtaining construction materials

1b. Level of waste and emissions generated in the construction process

1c. Level of waste and emissions generated in the maintenance of buildings

1d. Level of waste and emissions generated in the demolition of buildings

Increase in the quality of life of the occupants of the buildings

2a. Emissions harmful to the natural ecosystem

2b. Emissions harmful to human health

2c. Number of illnesses of the building occupants

2d. Degree of satisfaction and well-being of the building's occupants

Decrease in maintenance and cost of buildings

3a. Level of adequacy between the durability of materials and their functional life cycle

3b. Functional suitability of components

3c. Resources consumed by the building in its daily activity

3d. Energy consumed by the building's technological devices

3e. Energy consumed in building accessibility

3f. Residual energy consumed by the building when it is not occupied

3g. Need level for maintenance in the building

3h. Need level for treatment of emissions and waste generated by the building

3i. Economic cost in the construction of the building

3.j Social and economic environment

Some of the most important actions carried out to meet the 39 indicators are outlined below:

l. Resource optimization

1.1. Natural resources

The use of resources such as solar radiation (to generate hot water and electricity; and provide natural lighting to all rooms of the building), the breeze, the earth (to cool the building), rainwater has been optimized to the maximum (reserve water tanks for watering the garden and for its consumption), vegetation (insulation, coverings, vertical gardens and the garden roof), etc. On the other hand, water saving devices have been installed in the taps, showers and cisterns of the house, and systems for the purification and naturalization of rainwater, to make it suitable for human consumption.

1.2. Fabricated Resources

All the materials used have been used to the maximum to manufacture the components of the building, reducing possible waste, through a correct project, and effective management.

1.3. Resources recovered, reused and recycled

The building has been designed so that most of its components can be recovered, in this way they can be repaired and can be reused indefinitely. In the same way, the materials used can be easily recycled with minimal energy cost.

ll. Decrease in energy consumption

a) Construction

The building has been designed to be constructed with the lowest possible energy cost, optimizing conventional construction systems. In fact, 100% of the components are industrialized, and have been manufactured with a minimum amount of energy. In addition, all the materials have been chosen for their low energy consumption.

b) Use

Due to its bioclimatic characteristics, the building has a very low energy consumption. In addition, the little energy it needs, it obtains by itself, from renewable natural sources.

The building is heated by the greenhouse effect, by the heat emitted by its occupants and, only eventually, by a geothermal heat pump system. The hot water is generated by means of a geothermal heat pump, powered by solar energy generated by the photovoltaic pannles integrated in the green roof envelope, and also by means of several solar thermal collectors also integrated into the upper envelope of the building.

The building is cooled by an underground geothermal architectural system, and does not need any mechanical conditioning system, so it does not consume energy.

In other words, the building is energy self-sufficient.

c) Disassembly

All the components used can be easily recovered, in order to be repaired in case of deterioration, and to be used again, indefinitely. When the components reach a high level of deterioration, and cannot be reused, they can be recycled and in this way, new components can be manufactured that can be replaced, indefinitely. Dismantling is very simple and consumes very little energy, since you only have to remove the parts, one by one, in the reverse order of how they were placed in the assembly.

lll Use of alternative energy sources

The energy used is of three types: thermal solar (solar collectors to produce hot water), photovoltaic solar (solar collectors to produce the little electricity the building needs), and geothermal (geothermal heat pump air conditioning system, and architectural system to refresh the air, taking advantage of the low temperatures existing underground, in the underground galleries under the house).

A) Reduction of waste and emissions

The building does not generate any type of emissions, nor does it generate any type of waste.

V. Improved human health and well-being

All the materials used are ecological and healthy, and do not have any type of emissions that could affect human health. Similarly, the building is naturally ventilated, making the most of natural lighting, creating a healthy environment and providing the best possible quality of life for its occupants.

VI. Decrease in the price of the building and its maintenance

Magic Forest has been designed in a rational way, and most of its components are industrialized, eliminating superfluous, unnecessary or free items, which allows its construction at a very low price, despite its ecological characteristics. In the same way, it hardly needs maintenance: regular cleaning, and biannual treatment of the wood based on lasures.

VII. 100% industrialized, prefabricated and removable building

The building has three characteristics that give it the highest possible ecological level:

A) 100% Industrialized Building

The building has been designed so that all its architectural components are made in the factory, in order to be easily assembled on site, using only screws.

By making all the components in the factory, compliance with all ecological indicators can be optimized, and therefore allow the highest possible ecological level to be obtained

- Resource Optimization. In the factory, resources are optimized much more efficiently than in conventional construction on site.

- Decrease in energy consumption. Construction processes in the factory consume much less energy than conventional construction processes on site.

- Use of natural energy sources. In the factory, natural energy sources (solar and wind) can easily be used, while it is almost impossible to do so in a conventional construction on site.

- Reduction of waste and emissions. Much less waste and emissions are generated in the factory than in conventional construction on site.

- Increased health, safety and well-being. In the factory, much more care can be taken of the health and well-being of the workers than in a conventional construction on site.

- Decrease in economic cost and maintenance. In the factory, conveniently designing each of the architectural components can reduce the cost of construction.

B) 100% prefabricated and modular building

The building has been designed using as few industrialized components as possible. In this way a modular prefabrication system has been created. The pieces should not be too large since then it would reduce their reuse capacity, either in the same building, or in other buildings. The parts should also not be small in size, as in that case there would be too many different parts, and the costs will increase exponentially. Therefore, the building has been designed based on a small number of different medium-sized pieces, and with as many repeated pieces as possible. In this way the pieces can be recovered, repaired and reused, both in the same building or in any other.

C) 100% removable building

The building has been designed in a very special way so that all its components can be assembled together only using screws and pressure, and in order to be easily recoverable, repairable and reusable. All its architectural components can be easily assembled and disassembled as many times as necessary, and thus can be repaired and reused over time. As a result, all building components can be transported anywhere, and thus can be assembled and disassembled indefinitely and moved anywhere.

Specifically, the building has been designed using reinforced concrete panels and fiber concrete panels, assembled together by means of metal profiles. This system allows the building to be assembled and disassembled as many times as necessary, and at the same time provides high thermal inertia so that it can be thermally self-regulating, without the need for heating and air conditioning devices. Even the foundation of the building is removable.

7. Building with infinite life cycle

To achieve the highest possible ecological level in the manufacture of any object, its durability must be maximized, with the least possible maintenance.

In any human activity, to achieve the highest possible ecological level, the ecological impact per unit of time must be minimized as much as possible. Therefore, the most important characteristics that any object must have is that it have the longest possible useful life. The greater its durability (fully functional and with the least possible maintenance) the environmental impact per unit of time will be less. Therefore, the less a certain object lasts, the greater its environmental impact, and the less ecological it will be. The current paradigm for manufacturing objects called "programmed obsolescence" therefore makes it impossible to manufacture any object that can be minimally called "ecological".

For an object to have the greatest possible durability, with the least possible maintenance, it must be designed based on elements that can be easily repaired and reusable. In this way, when, with the passage of time, and a certain component breaks down, it is simply disassembled from the whole, repaired and put back.

This is why the building has been designed to be constructed using a discrete set of components, which can be easily disassembled, can be easily repaired, and can be reused indefinitely. In this way, the building can have an infinite life cycle, and in any case, the least possible ecological impact.

By Liliana Alvarez

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