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Bilbao is booming

The Basque metropolis is an attractive destination for lovers of architecture: Bilbao's development into a hotspot of modern architecture started with Gehry's design of the Guggenheim Museum 15 years ago. The revitalization of industrial wasteland and a great number of interesting new constructions and renovations bear witness to the transformation of the city.
This article presents some impressions of the latest architectural projects, such as the recently opened Iberdrola Tower by César Pelli and the Alhóndiga Building. The latter is the city’s former wine warehouse, a large turn-of-the-century building complex transformed by Philippe Starck into an open and lively Culture & Leisure Centre, including media library, cinema, exhibition spaces, swimming pool, bars and restaurants.

The Deusto University Library (2010, José Rafael Moneo), with the Guggenheim Museum (1997, Frank O. Gehry) in the background

Left, the new building of the University of the Basque Country with lecture theatres and seminar rooms (2010, Álvaro Siza Vieira). Right, the new library of the University of Deusto (2010, José Rafael Moneo). In the background, the Centenary Building of the University of Deusto (1989)

Detail of the entrance of the new university library

New building for the University of the Basque Country (2010, Álvaro Siza Vieira)

Façade details

Left, the Deusto University Library. Right, the new building for the University of the Basque Country. Behind, the Iberdrola Tower (2011, César Pelli)

View of the new design of the Parque de Ribera (2004, Javier López Chollet)

In the foreground, the Pedro Arrupe Footbridge (2003, Lorenzo Fernández Ordóñez). In the background, the La Literaria Building (1886) of the University of Deusto

Iberdrola Tower (2011, César Pelli)

Left, the Iberdrola Tower entrance. Right, residential building (2011, Carlos Ferrater) at the Plaza de Euskadi

Artklass Building, a residential building at the Plaza de Euskadi (2011, Robert Krier)

Rear façade of the Artklass Building opposite the Doña Casilda Park

Plaza Arriquibar in front of the Alhóndiga Building

New construction for Osakidetza, offices of the Department of Public Health of the Basque government (2008, Juan Coll-Barreu)

Photograph from the Plaza Bizkaia with a view of the Alhóndiga Building (1909, renovation and conversion 2010, Philippe Starck). Left, the administration building of the Basque government (2006, Federico Soriano)

La Alhóndiga, former wine warehouse, turned into a Culture & Leisure Centre by Philippe Starck. Right, entrance detail

Unusual perspective: the swimming pool on top. Silhouettes of the swimmers are vaguely visible through the glass bottom of the pool.


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