Alameda
de Urquijo,
4

Abando Quarter
Bilbao
INTERVIEW WITH
IÑAKI AURREKOETXEA
Bilbao

The inner courtyard is like the covered square of the building, attractive and pleasant. For both workers and visitors, who gaze at it from the panoramic lifts.

There was a preexistent building, the old Iberdrola building. The old façade was peeled off, maintaining the structure. How was the creation process? The whole renovation is a challenge, as it means investing on other’s work. It was a building characteristic of a specific time which required an update, not a formal update, but a material one. The structure was maintained adapting its envelope to the current time.

How did the idea of turning the inner courtyard into the space of the main building arose? The building is deep, and, to make all the offices with an equivalent size, we had to create a new façade, create a new outer space, but not facing the street. From that thought came the idea of the intervention and the creation of the inner courtyard, which gives reference and value to the whole building.

Tell us which are the outstanding features of this courtyard. The consideration of covered outdoor space. As if it was the building’s garden, or even better, the covered square of the building. Attractive, peaceful and pleasant.

Alameda<br>de Urquijo,<br> 4 - Casacuberta
TOP VIEW OF THE INNER
COURTYARD’S SKYLIGHT

The biggest challenge was to meet and match the needs of the retail premise and the offices, which should maintain the representativeness expected by its location.

You always find the best solutions to the needs of the client and the location. What were them, in this case? To obtain the most modern and attractive offices possible in the centre of Bilbao, and in a preexistent building. We had to solve its access, create a unique façade and generate an attractive indoor space.

Three aspects: the challenge, the opportunity and the solution.
The challenge was to integrate the retail use with the offices. Each space had its respective technical and spatial requirements.We found the opportunity as we had a courtyard of the right dimension. And the solution reached was to strike the right balance in the building as a whole.

How is the experience from the façade to the hall and finally to the inner courtyard? The hall is the cover letter and it needs to solve that transition from outdoors to indoors. And the passage from the hall to the offices by the panoramic lifts is fundamental to allow the visitor appreciate the transition: where you are going and who you are going to visit. The lifts let you enjoy the courtyard. We had always thought this was fundamental to add value and character to the building.

Alameda<br>de Urquijo,<br> 4 - Casacuberta
DETAIL OF THE FAÇADE
Alameda<br>de Urquijo,<br> 4 - Casacuberta
LONG SHOT OF THE FAÇADE AND
THE ENTRANCE TO THE BUILDING