Torres Blancas: Madrid’s Tree-Like Building

Designed by Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza, completed in 8 years, 81 meters tall with 23 stories, Torres Blancas is one of the finest examples of modernist architecture in Spain. Oiza strived for uniqueness in this experimental building and he achieved it beautifully and effectively.

torres blancas terrace close up
Michal Dec
torres blancas from ground level
David McMonagle

Oiza primarily intended Torres Blancas to be a vertical garden city in harmony with nature. As it is obvious, the building is not just a group of flats stacked on top of each other. Contrary to conventions, Torres Blancas comprises separate housing units that mix together in style.

torres blancas exterior
Michal Dec

Although Torres Blancas means White Towers, the building is not quite white. This is because by “white,” Oiza meant architectural pureness and not the actual color. Moreover, the reason why the name is plural while it is a single building is that Oiza initially intended to make two buildings instead of just one.

torres blancas ground level
Michal Dec

Maybe the most striking aspect of Torres Blancas is that its structure reminds people of a tree. Especially the upper floors and the terrace are like the branches of a tree while the down floors are the body of it. The shape of the building is a nod to Organicism in architecture which Oiza was interested in.

torres blancas exterior close up
Michal Dec

The building was an escape from rationalism. Its tree-like shape is what Oiza believed an aesthetic urban community needed. It gathered so much praise that it won the Official Chamber of Architects of Madrid Award in 1972 and the European Excellence Award in 1974.

torres blancas balconies
Michal Dec

Torres Blancas is not only a residential building. Its upper floors have restaurants and a pool where the residents can come together and have fun. This is one of the reasons why the building is a vertical city. Oiza’s vision was to make a building that was self-sufficient in every way. The building itself is a social hub inside the capital.

the colors of torres blancas
Michal Dec

Today, Torres Blancas is one of the most impressive sights of the Madrid skyline. A true architectural masterpiece that mixes style and practicality in an experimental fashion.

torres blancas upper floors
Michal Dec