Bilbao Beyond the Guggenheim

Bilbao is known for the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. But there's a living city behind that iconic architecture, and local officials are trying to prove it with a new public park.

The park was designed by ACXT, and fills in what was formerly an empty space between two of the city's neighborhoods.

"Situated between the districts of Txurdínaga and Otxarcoaga, Pau Casals Square is part of a series of projects that Bilbao has undertaken to improve urban spaces in the city's outlying areas, creating connections between different neighborhoods and increasing the quality of life for residents. These neighborhoods grew during the post-war era, when they suffered from poor urban infrastructure and disorderly planning, which created rocky unused spaces like this site along Jesus Galindez Avenue.

In approaching the renovation, ACXT sought to reinforce the site's steep and rocky slope (which experienced continuous landslides) while breaking down the barrier that it created between the two districts. The architects chose to preserve the existing rock wherever possible, interspersing it with triangular patches of vegetation and reinforcing weak parts of the slope with sections of of concrete."

Full Story: Geometric Park Heals a Rocky Rift in Bilbao

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