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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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Master Plan Zorrotzaurre

Infografia masterplan zorrotzaurre

Zorrotzaurre, the peninsula of the River of Bilbao, will be transformed into an island. This completely new district will be home to tall and modern buildings where innovative companies will stand side-by-side to residential buildings. Furthermore, part of the old factories that have occupied this place, rooted in the city’s maritime past for many decades, will continue to play a role in this new urban plan.

The British-Iraki architect Zaha HADID has been commissioned with drafting the master plan for the urbanisation of this area, which covers a total of 838,781 sq. m., over 65% of which will be for public use. Although Zorrotzaurre will be mostly residential in nature, with 50% of the homes to be public housing, a minimum of 25% of the land surface is to be reserved for commercial use.

The decision to convert the peninsula into an island is motivated by the urgent need to prevent the danger of flooding. Hydraulic studies undertaken recommended widening the Deusto Canal to 75 metres, and that the flood height of the future island be raised to between +4.50 and +5.00 metres.


Aside from housing, the master plan also calls for three bridges connecting the island to Deusto, San Ignacio and Zorrotza, and since the navigability of the River must be safeguarded, they will need to be swing bridges. Still more bridges may be required in future, since top priority is being given to public transportation, particularly by extending the tramway from the Ensanche district, along with expanding Bilbao’s network of pedestrian and cycle paths. Not only is Zorrotzaurre a major urban renewal undertaking, it is also a reflection of the innovative spirit being displayed in Bilbao’s expansion.

Although some projects are still in the planning stage, others are quickly taking shape, of which three are to be noted: the IMQ building, designed by Carlos FERRATER, the new BBK-Savings Bank headquarters by Zaha HADID, and the future IDOM building.