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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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Más de 300 arquitectos y urbanistas de renombre se reúnen en Bilbao a partir de mañana en el BIA Urban Regeneration Forum

The BIA platform (Bilbao Bizkaia Architecture), dedicated to stimulating architecture and urban planning in the province of Bizkaia, will  gather together over 300 architects, urban planners and engineers who, under the ‘Towards Living Cities’ slogan, will discuss the challenges facing the cities of the future. The international figures at the first BIA Regeneration Forum will include  Carlos Ferrater, who designed the residential blocks next to the Iberdrola Tower or the IMQ Zorrotzaurre building; Adriaan Geuze, a member of the West 8 team and whose work includes the River Manzanares park development in Madrid; and Umberto Napolitano, from LAN Architecture, tasked with the refurbishment of the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées. The forum will get underway with a day dedicated to Mexico and end with Norman Foster receiving the I BIA Award on Friday 26th.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the  Iberdrola Tower will be the scenario for the opening of the Congress with a  session dedicated to Mexico, which will involve the participation of a delegation of representatives of the Mexican government, of architects’ associations and companies. The presence of professionals of the ilk of Felipe Leal, the architect of the García Márquez Studio, the Rossi House and the Puma Store;  or Fernanda Canales, who received a lifelong achievement award from the  Federation of the Professional Association of Architects of the Republic of Mexico and the CAM SAM Young Architects Award, will help to showcase the reality of Mexican architecture and to establish new business and cultural ties with an emerging country.

Itziar Urrutia, architect and director of the SENER Bilbao Division, Alfonso Martínez Cearra, industrial engineer and general manager of Bilbao Metrópoli 30, will report on the reality of both countries during the roundtable with Mexican and Basque representatives.

On Thursday, the Euskalduna Conference Centre will host the first of the forum sessions, on the theme of  ‘City: Second Nature’. Special mention must be made of the presence of Carlos Ferrater (Barcelona, 1944), whose work already forms part of Bilbao’s architectural landscape. The two interventions of the Catalan architect in the city centre – the Bilbao Design residential blocks next to the Iberdrola Building and the Zorrotzaurre IMG building– are both landmarks in the zone where they stand and shape the urban front along one of the most important aspects underpinning today’s image of Bilbao to the outside world,  its river estuary. He heads the OAB architecture firm and is currently working on the design of the promenade for Tangiers (Morocco).

José Ángel Medina Murua, Director of the School of Architecture at Navarra University, and Ana Sánchez-Ostiz, Director of the Department of Construction, Installations and Structures at the School of Architecture at the same centre; Tatiana Bilbao, a Mexican architect who has just received in Paris one of the Global Awards for Sustainable Architect;  Adriaan Geuze, the Dutch architect whose studio, West 8, has designed some residential districts in Amsterdam; Umberto Napolitano, from the LAN studio and in charge of the refurbishment of the  Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées; Lauren Etxepare and Rufino Hernández, director of the Projects Department and professor of Construction, respectively, at the San Sebastián Higher Technical School of Architecture, and  Joseba Juaristi, senior professor in Human Geography at the University of the Basque Country – Euskal Erico Unibertsitatea (EHU/UPV), will also be there alongside him.

On Friday 26th, the emphasis will be on searching for new proposals regarding the political consequences of the property boom. This session, entitled ‘Alternative City’, will be noted for the presence of Joan Subirats, who has a PhD in Economic Sciences and is a senior professor in Political Science at the Autónoma Univresity of Barcelona.  Subirats ran the Institute of Government and Public Policy (IGOP) and headed two of the most important urban policies funded by the Ministry for Science and Innovation: “Urban Policies Against the Backdrop of 2015: After 30 Years of Local Democracy” and “Exploring New Urban Policies”.

He will be accompanied by Juan José Arrizabalaga, PhD in Architecture and Director of the San Sebastián Higher Technical School of Architecture ; Miguel Robles-Durán, urban planner and Director of the Urban Ecologies Programme as the  New School Parsons in New York; Mauro Gil Fournier, from the SIC Studio and one of the driving forces of the VIC – Citizen Initiative Incubator platform; Carmen Espegel, Projects Full Professor at the Higher Technical School of Architecture at the Technical University of Madrid; Jon Joseba Leonardo, senior professor in Urban Sociology at Deusto University; Igor Calzada, research sociologist on the  Programme for Future Cities at Oxford University; and Mercè Cortina i Oriol, lecturer at the Sociology Department at the University of the Basque Country – Euskal Erico Unibertsitatea (EHU/UPV).

The lectures and papers will come to an end on Saturday 27th with the talk open to the public by Luis Fernández Galiano, architect and Projects senior professor at the School of Architecture at the Technical University of Madrid, editor of the AV/Arquitectura Viva magazines and Fellow of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts.


Sir Norman Foster

One of the highlights of this first Urban Regeneration Forum, the presentation of the first BIA Award to Norman Foster at the Guggenheim Museum, will take place on the 26th.  Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank, (Manchester, 1935) is one of the most prestigious contemporary architects on the international scene. The awards for his work include the Mies van der Roche Contemporary Architecture Award in 1990, the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1994, the Pritzker in 1999 and the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2009.  He studied architecture at Manchester University, followed by time at Yale University. When he returned to England he set up Team 4 in 1964 and then three years later in 1967, he founded Foster Associates where he collaborated with the architect Richard Buckminster Fuller. The practice is now known as Foster + Partners.

Known in the Basque Country for his original design of the Metro Bilbao stations, Foster has designed other projects in Spain, including the Bankia Tower in Madrid, the Valencia Conference Centre and the Portia Winery in Castilla y León. His best known work internationally includes the remodelling of the British Museum and Wembley Stadium in London, along with the new terminal at Stansted Airport, the Millennium Bridge, the ‘Gherkin’ and City Hall, also in the English capital.  The refurbishment of the Reichstag building in Berlin and the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt are two of his best known projects in Germany, while in the USA, he designed the Hearst Tower in New York, the Joslyn Museum Addition in Omaha (Nebraska) and the Museum of Fine Art Boston.  Foster has also designed iconic buildings such as the Hongkong Bank in Hong Kong and Beijing International Airport.