‘we are delighted to have this opportunity to create a major new extension and remodel the bilbao fine arts museum,’ says norman foster, founder and executive chairman, foster + partners. ‘our design will restore the existing mid-twentieth century building and setting to its original glory, create a new publicly accessible atrium space and add major new galleries for contemporary art in a floating pavilion. we, with luis maría uriarte, look forward to working with the director, miguel zugaza and his team to create a museum fit for this forward-looking city.’ marking the practice’s second project in the city, following bilbao metro, which was completed in 1995, the bilbao fine arts museum proposal seeks to reorient the museum towards the city by restoring the façade of the existing building and making it more permeable, while enhancing the institution’s unique identity.
chosen from a shortlist of six, the winning entry turns plaza arriaga into the new heart along the museum’s spine, with light streaming in from the roof light piercing through the new gallery spaces above. the ground floor is on a single accessible plane allowing visitors to orient themselves easily, while the new addition is characterized by a modeled façade with viewing terraces to enhance its slenderness, and minimal supports placed away from the footprint of the existing buildings.
agravitas was declared by the jury as the one that ‘carefully respects the existing, recovering the historical values of the museum and projecting it towards the future with a new grand gallery that rises over the constructions of 1945, 1970 and 2001 to write a new chapter in the life of the institution. technological in its image, humanistic in its approach and ecological in its sustainability, the proposal combines architectural quality, urban sensitivity and social responsibility to raise a luminous landmark in the historic heart of bilbao.’
image courtesy of the bilbao fine arts museum
name: agravitas – bilbao fine arts museum
architect: foster + partners, LM uriarte arkitektura S.L.P.
client: bilbao fine arts museum
location: bilbao, spain
jul 25, 2019
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