Abandoibarra district, the former site of port activity with its 348,000 sq. m., represents the exaltation of architecture and urban planning, and is undoubtedly the area par excellence of the new Bilbao. The old wharfs, quays and piers gave way to the grassy areas now surrounding Bilbao’s grandiose buildings which provide needed space for rest, relaxation and recreation.
The enlargement of the Super Port and transferring the sea containers away from the River of Bilbao, freed up room for new architectural icons and such emblematic buildings as Frank GEHRY’s Guggenheim Museum, Rafael MONEO’s University of Deusto Library, Alvaro’s SIZA’s Auditorium of the Basque Public University (UPV-EHU) and Cesar PELLI’s Iberdrola Tower.
Urban remodelling of this district began in 1998 following the Master Plan elaborated by urban designer Diana BALMORI, and architects Cesar PELLI and Eugenio AGUINAGA, who explained the importance of Abandoibarra as: “Inevitably, the fundamental lines and features have not varied in successive versions of the plan. To paraphrase Kant: ‘it’s what the city wants to be.”