Picasso Tower

Year: 1988

Location: Madrid, Spain

Country: Spain

Owner Builder: Inmobiliaria Asón / Portland Valderrivas

Contractor: FCC

Designer: Minoru Yamasaki

Problem / Solution

Built in the middle of Madrid’s AZCA quarter along the “Paseo de la Castellana” the iconic Picasso Tower became in 1988 Spain’s highest building. The Picasso Tower was designed by new formalist architect Minoru Yamasaki and with its 43 floors and measuring 157 meters the tower has become one Madrid’s architectural highlights.


Several pumping trials were conducted in June 1986 at the dam of La Fernandina in southern Spain, to reproduce the conditions of the construction site: a 340-meter pipeline over a 120-meter-high cliff, and the extra difficulty of temperatures over 40ºC. A concrete pump Putzmeister BSA 1406 E was used at the tower, with a variable performance of 60 to 40 m3/h depending of the height. There were no intermediate pumping stages, and the whole tower was pumped in a single line.

Why expanded clay?

The Picasso Tower was the first large-scale use of LWAC in Spain for a high-rise building. The original project of the tower had to undergo many changes to fit into the Spanish regulations but the use of circa 10.000 m3 of LWAC with specification LC 20 and dry density 1800 kg/m3, reduced the total weight of the building in 5.000 tons.

Picasso Tower (Spain – Leca – 1988)
Picasso Tower 1
Picasso Tower 2
Picasso Tower 3