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Bilbao today is a prime example of urban restructuring, having transitioned from an industrial city to a city of services and culture.

Discover the urban evolution of Bilbao visually and intuitively by taking a historical look at the most relevant projects undertaken in the process.


In project

Bilbao's transformation has no start and end date, but rather is an ongoing process.

Learn about the projects that will become the new landmarks to consolidate Bilbao as a leading city in urban planning and architecture.


New constructions

For some time now, Bilbao has been unveiling significant urban and architectural novelties.

This section will provide full detail of recent endeavours which are already a part of the New Bilbao.


Heritage buildings

Bilbao has taken great pains to preserve its heritage as much as possible, making renovating and preserving Bilbao's historic buildings a key aspect to combining the new architecture with that of inspired artists of yesteryear.



Modern architecture has raised twenty-first century Bilbao off the ground. As great national and international architects -many of them recipients of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize- left their mark in the form of modern works of art.The city's commitment to world-class architecture is self-evident and has been successful.




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A well-liked and ambitious private initiative of townhouses built at the beginning of the 20th Century and the streetcar route have both naturally brought this area closer to the centre of the city. The housing units which still stand provide a view of what was considered a pioneer experiment in social organisation. Not far from there one finds the last surviving vestiges of medieval architecture in the area.


This unique and innovative neighborhood in Bilbao borrows from the English suburban development model and reached a population of more than 3,000 residents. Built during the first decades of the 20th Century and finished in 1916 it was comprised of economical single-family houses and townhouses with individual yards and gardens.

The result was a low-density area with healthy and high quality urban design. It is well connected with Bilbao¥s Old Town and the Ensanche area by streetcar and has its own public services: chapel, school, post office, shop, etc.

The homes have kitchen, bath, living room and two or three bedrooms, neo-Basque style facades, English-style touches and modernist details. A few of the houses have survived the effects of urban land speculation and disrepair in what was called in its day “a first attempt at social planning and an innovation in Spain.”


Ricardo Bastida gathered the basic guidelines for the project design from central European experiments, mostly from Berlin and Vienna, where there is a long tradition of residential complexes with similar features.

Traditional load-bearing walls are the construction system for this new urban morphology with partially open five-storey blocks organised around three well-located courtyards or squares; the entrances to the blocks open onto the courtyards. This residential building typology was new to the city and was completely different from the residential buildings constructed in the Ensanche area.

The utility of the interior space and the reserved approach to some rationalist concepts, without letting go of classicist and regionalist traditions, used in the design of the facades as well as the choice of materials is in keeping with the social aspects of the residential complex.

colegio elejalde


This rationalist building is defined by its clear design of the interior space and of the exterior volumes as well as the use of brick facing as a fundamental material. The plans were drawn up by architects Fernando Olabarría and Juan Daniel Fullaondo who gave form to an attractive and varied offering of classrooms, childcare centre and gymnasium.

A central hallway has classrooms arrayed on both sides and the stairwells and restrooms are clearly separated on the exterior of the building, one on each end. The childcare centre and gymnasiums are located on the bottom floors.