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Javier de las Heras Solé, Zubiaur Musika Eskola, Bizkaia

A Felicitous Composition: Music School by Javier de las Heras Solé

The new music school in this Basque city near Bilbao stands directly on a public square. It painstakingly takes up the orthogonal structure of the surrounding buildings. The rectangular building of metal and glass is simply unmistakable. With a glazed access tower, the four-storey wing joins onto the existing north wall of the Zeleieta Zentroa culture centre, a meeting point for culture, sport and leisure activities. This creates an interstitial space that not only allows daylight to enter the new building from all four sides, but also provides space for a small, green inner courtyard that functions as a drainage area. The base of the music school is slightly recessed, resulting in an outdoor area that is sheltered all around and gives the impression that the four storeys are floating above it. An airy shell of orange-brown, perforated metal panelling surrounds the glass façades. They structure the views and enable diverse views into the building.

The Zubiaur Musika Eskola is open and spacious. Thanks to the load-transferring façade construction, all the spaces are support-free; some extend over two storeys. Apart from a large performance hall, the music school also features rehearsal rooms and communal areas. The surfaces are either clad in wood or have been left in simple white. They are complemented by stone flooring, exposed concrete and extensive glazing. Generous views of the city and the adjacent park provide a certain permeability that makes the building an ideal place for musical presentations.

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