Innovator of bio-climatic, self-sufficient architecture

Creator of Artificial Nature Architecture


“The architect can even surpass Nature – but to do so he must understand it, absorb it and love it with all his soul.”


Professor Luis de Garrido (born 1967) is a Spanish architect, designer, researcher and educator. He has two architecture studios, one in Valencia and one in Barcelona (Spain), and is a front runner in sustainable bio-climatic architecture. His innovative building concepts, materials and original thinking have earned him the respect of colleagues worldwide. The ISBA (International Steel Building Association) together with the ALA (American Institute of Architects) chose him as Architect of the Year in 2008, for his innovative work on sustainable and modular architecture. Luis de Garrido often uses old, recycled container modules in his award-winning designs. He is a true innovator of usable concepts and is globally acknowledged for his visionary designs and his contributions to education in sustainable architecture. His objective is to realize projects that are bio-climatic and self-sufficient in energy, water and food. The buildings he creates have plants all over the place - in the buildings themselves, against the external or internal walls, on the ceilings or roofs or in the surrounding grounds. Of recent years he has only accepted projects consistently meeting very strict ecological, health and environmental criteria.


Green House, Shoeburyness - Essex, England. Project designed by Luis de Garrido.

Luis de Garrido is Executive President of the International Federation for Sustainable Architecture (IFSA), President of the National Association for Sustainable Architecture (ANAS) and President of ANAVIF (National Association for Housing of the Future) in Spain. He is also Director of the Master’s degree programme in Sustainable Architecture (M.A.S.) in Spain. Presently he is building the first “bio-climatic” commercial building in Panama City. It has 55 levels of natural refrigeration, the first of its kind in the world. He is highly praised for his architectural systems, which make maximum use of natural heat, and for his constant search for an architecture that fosters the personal happiness of its occupants. Luis de Garrido’s architectural work is based on permanent innovation and experimentation. He has designed experimental homes, collective housing and urban estates, social housing, eco urban planning and skyscrapers, office buildings, clinics, restaurants and hotels. Luis de Garrido has a doctorate in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, a Master’s in Urban Design from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and a doctorate in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a visiting professor at MIT, and has lectured on sustainable architecture at many renowned universities throughout the world. He has published 13 books.


Luis de Garrido has received several awards, including the Model Project for Humanity Award from the Commissioner of Expo 2000 in Hannover (Germany) for his “ACTIO Environmental Resources Complex” building.


“Sustainable Architecture meets the needs of its occupants, at any time, anywhere, without jeopardizing the welfare and development of future generations. It involves honest commitment to human development and social stability, using architectural strategies to optimize resources and materials, promoting renewable energy, minimizing waste and emissions, maintenance, functionality and the price of the buildings and improving the quality of life of its occupants”.



1. R4 House, Barcelona, Spain - Recycle, Recuperate, Reuse and Reason


The R4 House in Barcelona is regarded as one of Luis de Garrido’ masterpieces. It was presented at Construmat, the world’s largest building tradefair, in Barcelona in May 2007, and has won the global attention of architects. R4 stands for Recycle, Recuperate, Reuse and Reason, and the R4 House was completely built of recycled and recuperated products. A team of 35 architects, engineers and biologists scoured the city of Barcelona in search of items of industrial, urban and domestic waste that could be used in this building complex, together with used shipping containers. The idea was to build a flexible house that could move through time like a living organism, a building (consisting of 2 houses and a recreation unit) that grows and adapts continually to the ever changing needs of the occupants.



2. Green²House , Barcelona, Spain, “Towards another Architecture”

Luis de Garrido presented his sustainable home prototype, Green²House , at the Glass House Museum in New York City in April 2009. This design is regarded as a precursor of the sustainable garden-house of the future. The Green²House is the first modular garden-house that is prefabricated, reusable and transportable. This building, made only of green, green walls, a roof garden, and sloping gardens, has been acclaimed as the “archetype of sustainable architecture”. The Green²House is heated in winter by a combination of 3 different systems, and cooled in summer by a similar arrangement. This is the first impressive example of a house based on two vertical gardens on both sides of one wall.
Apart from being fully ecological, this innovative home is very economical to live in.


3 Pontmare, Eco-Skyscraper, Valencia, Spain

The Pontmare Eco-Skyscraper was built in Valencia in 2003. This complex structure includes an underground rail and tube station, a new bridge and two office skyscrapers flanking the river Turia in the centre of Valencia. The Pontmare has zero energy consumption, and is self-sufficient in energy and water. The building has a wraparound multimedia design, and continually changes colour and appearance.



4. Faro Berimbau, Eco-Tower, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Faro Berimbau is a both an Eco and Telecommunications Tower, designed for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. It is self-sufficient in energy, water and food. The objective was to create an architectural symbol of the city of Río de Janeiro, inspired by some of its most celebrated cultural aspects such as Mardi Gras, Capoeira (a Brazilian art form combining elements of martial arts, sport and music) and Berimbau (a singlestring
percussion musical instrument used in Capoeira). The building is a multimedia telecommunications tower that can change its external appearance continually and allows information to be displayed on its outer surface, making it a landmark for the beaches of Rio. It is self-sufficient in water and energy, highly sustainable and prefabricated, and made of components that are recuperable, repairable, reusable and recyclable to give it an infinite life cycle. The site chosen for the construction of this colossal symbol of the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro is an islet close to the world-famous Copacabana Beach in the shadow of the Sugar Loaf, itself a powerful symbol of the city.

As the name suggests, the structure has been given a shape that reflects that of the abovementioned Berimbau. It has been designed to house telecommunications systems and offices for the Olympic Games. Again as the name ‘Faro’ (lighthouse) suggests, the structure will serve as a lighthouse to serve shipping in the vicinity, thus playing a vital role in the sustainable development of the country.




5. Geoda 2055 is a proposal for an Eco-City, self-sufficient in energy and water, which would be built in an abandoned quarry.


Geoda 2055 is an Eco-City, self-sufficient in energy and water. The objective of the project is to create extra space for the city of Mondragón in the adjacent quarry, and to restore the degraded ecosystem. The development is ordered on the basis of a three-dimensional grid created by arranging a large number of cubes in a regular array on the flat bottom and the vertical sides of the quarry. This arrangement resembles a gigantic geode (‘geoda’ in Spanish), with the cubes as the individual crystals filling it. The cubes, all of the same dimensions and similar shape, are given various different functions: dwellings, restaurants, a museum, a service industry zone and offices. The only exception to this rule is the “skyscrapers”, formed by stacking several cubes on top of one another.
The cubes are provided with a double glazing skin round about, which helps to keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer. The design includes a covered central patio, which also helps to keep the building warm in winter.



6. La Llum, Eco-Skyscraper, Scupture concept for the Twin Towers, Manhattan, USA

La Llum was Luis de Garrido’s idea for an Eco-Skyscraper 1 kilometre high, seen as the first step towards a vertical city. This bioclimatic design was to be constructed of ecomaterials, with special high-strength steel to give the necessary wind resistance, and to be located in Lower Manhattan in New York as a replacement for the Twin Towers. It was shortlisted in the Ground Zero competition.



7. Horus Eco-House

This Ecohouse was created by Luis de Garrido. It was built in 2011, on the island of Sedir Adasi, off the coast of Turkey. Sedir Adasi is a beautiful island in the Gulf of Gökova, a unique paradise. This island is famous for its beach made from seashells. It is said that this organic sand was brought by ships from Marco Antonio from the Red Sea especially for Cleopatra to give her the most beautiful beach in the world. It is self-sufficient in water, energy and food. The glass-domed house has been specially designed to permit integration of the bioclimatic facilities needed to minimize energy consumption. It has been given the form of the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health derived from the name of the Egyptian god Horus who has been described as “the god of heaven who spreads his wings over the earth”.This not only permits the desired integration of functions but also gives an unparalleled visual effect. The dwelling area is contained in a hemispherical cupola made of stainless-steel ribs and protective panes of blue laminated glass. It has 25 bedrooms, five lounges and a covered garden with incredible views and a perfect microclimate every day of the year. It has an amazing indoor landscaped terrace. Everything about this new house is a dream: its comfortable microclimate, its constant flow of air, light and heat when necessary and its superior landscaping. Although the greenhouse effect promotes natural heating, certain measures – such as landscaping and tilted louvers – ensure that the heat is bearable during the summer time. Steps have also been taken to provide plenty of ventilation.