Football Stadium in Barakaldo
Barakaldo is a suburb of Bilbao. With the waning of traditional industries, this region has suffered an economic decline in recent times, and in 1992, the publicly financed organization Bilbao Ria 2000 was set up to address this problem. Probably the best-known work realized to date in this context is the Guggenheim Museum by Frank O. Gehry. “Operation Galindo”, as the rehabilitation of Barakaldo is known, covers an area of 400,000 m2 and includes a major construction programme. A sports complex has already been completed, and the Lasesarre football stadium for the Barakaldo club – accommodating 7,960 spectators – is like a little jewel in its dreary surroundings. The stands are articulated by access routes and “gardens”, over which the roof is set back, establishing a lively interplay of projections and recesses that are echoed in the external form of the structure. The whole is clad with translucent polycarbonate slabs, so that natural light is able to penetrate the outer skin during the day. At night, hundreds of fluorescent tubes transform the stadium into a radiant volume. The folded line of the roof is borne by powerful steel beams. With cantilevered arms projecting up to 8 metres over the stands, and columns with piles extending by as much as 40 metres through the mud layers of the River Nervion, the steel structure was an expensive part of the design, even if this is not immediately evident.