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Alameda de Urquijo 4 | Bilbao

Mixed-use building in the heart of Bilbao. A comprehensive transformation project where the strict needs involved in housing commercial premises with an area of more than 4,000 m2 are perfectly compatible with 5,000 m2 of state-of-the-art offices on the upper floors of the building.

Alameda de Urquijo 4 | Bilbao

Mixed-use building in the heart of Bilbao. A comprehensive transformation project where the strict needs involved in housing commercial premises with an area of more than 4,000 m2 are perfectly compatible with 5,000 m2 of state-of-the-art offices on the upper floors of the building.

Interview with Iñaki Aurrekoetxea

 

It was an already existing building, the former Iberdrola building. The entire façade was peeled, maintaining the structure. What did the creation process involve?

All rehabilitation is a challenge, because it means intervening in the spirit of another. It was a characteristic building from a time that required updating, not so much formal, but material. The composition was maintained, adapting its exterior to the time.

 

How did the idea of turning the interior courtyard into the main space of the building come about?

The building is deep and for all the offices to have an equivalent value, we had to create a new façade, create a new exterior space, but not giving out onto the street. This gives rise to the idea of the intervention and the creation of the inner courtyard, which affords a reference and value to the whole.

 

Tell us about the most outstanding architectural features of this courtyard. Inclusion of covered outdoor space. As if it were the garden of the building, or better still, the covered piazza of the building. Attractive, calm and pleasant.

You always give the best response to the needs of the client and the place. What were they in this case?

To obtain the most modern, attractive offices possible in the centre of Bilbao and in an existing building. We had to solve the access to them, create a unique façade and generate an attractive interior space.

 

Three aspects: the challenge, the opportunity and the solution.

The challenge was to integrate commercial and office use, each with their respective technical-spatial requirements. We found the opportunity by having a courtyard with the right dimensions. And the solution we arrived at was to achieve balance as a whole.

 

What is the experience like from the façade to the lobby and finally to the inner courtyard?

The lobby is the calling card and it has to ensure said exterior and interior transition. And the passage from the entrance to the offices via the panoramic lifts is essential so that the visitor can appreciate the transition to where he/she is going and who he/she is going to visit. The lifts allow you to enjoy the courtyard. We always thought that this was essential in order to lend value and character to the building.