Plaza Euskadi has been bringing people from the Ensanche district nearer to the River of Bilbao since the end of 2008, apart from facilitating the traffic flow of 34,000 vehicles daily. Under the auspices of Bilbao City Hall and Bilbao Ría 2000, the public company responsible for urban regeneration, the whole complex of roundabout, plaza, and an underground car park for 800 vehicles was developed.
Urban designer Diana BALMORI planned on converting the 14,500 sq. m. of the centre of the large roundabout into a large park. A reflecting pool was also to be surrounded by 66 Lime and Large Plane Trees to buffer the park from the traffic. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the economic downturn and other inevitable budget restraints, the pool and the pathways had to be eliminated from the plan. What does remain from the plan is its essence: a double row of trees on either side of the path which passes through the plaza.
This extension of green grass will be contemplated by anyone who looks at the housing block in the centre of the plaza developed by Vizcaina de Edificaciones. Over 40 sculptures will be placed around the Artklass Building in order to adorn it.
Located in the Plaza proper, Luxembourger architect Robert KRIER, has had the help of French architect, Marc BRETMAN and Basque architect, Iñaki AURREKOETXEA for this one of a kind project. The human figures created specifically for this construction are intended to contrast with the rest of the edifice. Its six façades and eight stories will house 190 luxury dwellings. As Mr KRIER himself defined it, “It is inspired in 19th century construction and has been a once in a lifetime opportunity.”