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Spain

King Felipe officially opens new Foreign Affairs Ministry building

King Felipe VI makes his Christmas address 2020
Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe officially opened the newly renovated building for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. 

Upon his arrival, the King was welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, and, before receiving a tour of the facility, maintained a meeting with him. 

His Majesty was then shown around the structure with its newly rebuilt offices and spaces. The tour particularly focused on the General Direction of Spanish Citizens Abroad and the Consular Affairs areas of the ministry. 

To conclude the event, King Felipe unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and the official reopening of the building, which is located in Plaza del Marqués de Salamanca, in the Salamanca area of Madrid.

The building was renovated with two main objectives in mind: accessibility and sustainability. 

To facilitate citizens with reduced mobility, architectonic barriers have been eliminated, and the structure has been equipped to help people with sensory disabilities so that they can carry out their errands in the public offices alone and not lose their independence. 

It has also been fitted for more sustainable energy consumption and better integration of the building in the surrounding environment. For example, the façade has been upgraded to keep heat inside the building, reducing the energy demand to control the temperature in the offices. There has also been a “green carpet” installed on the roof to both help the biodiversity of the urban environment and to further insulate the building. 

Aside from reducing energy demands, the building is also capable of producing its own energy, thanks to the solar panels that have been installed on part of the roof, as well as a system of recycling rainwater to cool the building down. 

All these renovations have been paid for by the Director-General of the State’s Patrimony, meaning that the money came from citizens’ taxes, so it was important that the renovation work was done in a way that would take into consideration the fight against climate change. 

King Felipe has long been a champion of both environmental consciousness and the international cooperation that is headed by the ministry, so today’s engagement was really well within his interests.