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Foster + Partners wins competition for the expansion and remodeling of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

The design looks to reorient the museums towards the city.

August 01, 2019 |
Bilbao exterior after renovations and expansion

All renderings courtesy Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners and LM Uriarte Arkitektura S.L.P’s design for the expansion and remodeling of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in Bilbao, Spain was recently selected as the winning entry from a shortlist of six.

The design proposal will reorient the museum towards the city by restoring the façade of the existing building and making it more permeable. The original 1945 building will become the main focal point once again through the restoration of its original entrance and its logical internal sequence and spaces. 


Bilbao gallery space


At the rear of the 1945 and the 1975 buildings, a new structure will equip the museum with an additional 21,500 sf of new galleries on a single open, flexible floor. The new addition will be characterized by a modeled façade with viewing terraces. Additionally, Plaza Arriaga will be transformed into the new heart along the museum’s spine.

Of the design, the jury said, “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.”


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