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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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Renovation and expansion of Campos Elíseos Theatre

Work sheet:

Architects: Architecture Studio Santiago Fajardo
Collaborator: Architecture Department of the City of Bilbao – Blanca BREA, Rosa MUGA
Technical Support: Labein – Maider ALZOLA, Iñaki MARCOS, Beatriz TEJEDA
Stage Engineering: GDC Consulting
Audio and Video Engineering: Ingenieria CPAA
Engineering general facilities: GOYMAR, GE
Total Surface area: 7,800 sq. m.
Year: 2010
Photography: Estudio Santiago Fajardo and Juan MERINERO

Campos Theater

The Campos Eliseos Theatre in Bilbao is a curious and novel example of modernist architecture, interwoven with a pre-existing Renaissance Theatre. The original building featured two innovative construction techniques for its time, namely its skeleton steel structure and the façade covered in moulded artificial stone.

Constructed in 1902 on the site of an urban park, which gave its name to the theatre, the now defunct Campos Eliseos Theatre went through a series of complicated downsizing transformations in order to assure its continuity. This eventually led to the segregation and sale of fundamental parts of the original theatre, which are now formally and structurally part of adjacent buildings. It could thus be said that the theatre was an active participant in the whole transformation process to have taken place on the block.

What was finally left of the original Campos Eliseos Theatre was the hall, the interstice spaces and the entrance, the stage house and a small adjoining lateral section to the left of the hall where a stairway connects all levels of the audience. In fact very little was left of this theatre, and if there had been any less one could not view this building as such.

Inside Campos Theater

The proposal to convert the Campos Eliseos Theatre into an avant-garde venue has moved us to take the following action:

-Restoration of the original building and its relevant elements: façade, hall and original basic structure.

-Regeneration via a functional expansion of the original building which resolved the current problem of limited space to meet essential logistic demands on the theatre’s facilities, which in its former dimensions was unable to satisfy.

Regeneration of Campos Theater

The building has grown stage right by means of an adjoining section annexed from the ground floor of the building next door, providing a separate entrance for artists and technicians, as well as stage house services and part of the facilities for the public on the ground floor. Excavating the basement beneath the hall gained space to install a combined mechanical system of mobile platforms and retractable seats, giving birth to a multi-purpose main hall thanks to a robotised system. Above the main hall new space has been gained for administration, technical and training areas. Finally, highly strategic facilities within the theatre, such as the café and a multi-purpose hall, on the upper level, act as complements to the main hall in terms of the functionality of the whole building.