Project to enlarge and remodel the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
The project with the pseudonym “Agravitas” submitted by UTE Foster + Partners Ltd. + LM Uriarte Arkitektura S.L.P., was chosen to be the winning proposal to enlarge and remodel the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
The jury has unanimously deemed that the winning project is the one that best meets the priority objectives, namely to provide the museum with more room to extend the display of its collections and to promote its exhibition, education and dissemination programmes.
The winning project will also resolve the museum’s orientation to the city by once again making the façade of the old building, which today faces Plaza Euskadi, permeable. Furthermore, the new architecture will bring unique value to the institution’s identity.
The maximum budget estimated by the museum for the execution of the future museum enlargement and remodelling contract is €18,658,200.00 (VAT included).
Norman Foster, Luis María Uriarte
The guiding idea behind this project is to gain back the protagonism of the 1945 building by restoring its original entrance. Over the existing installations, a uniquely-sized space is designed to respectfully rest over the 1945 and 1970 buildings, equipping the museum with 2,000 m2 of new galleries on a single open, flexible floor, an optimal gallery for any art curator.
The new remodelling turns Plaza Arriaga into the new heart of the museum’s backbone, with light streaming in from the rooflight running across the new gallery, and all the levels on the ground floor will be unified to give the museum an accessible plane where it is easy to orient oneself.
The proposed remodelling is characterised by a new striated piece to enhance its slenderness, with a minimum number of supports placed far from the footprint of the existing buildings.
UTE Foster + Partners Ltd. + LM Uriarte Arkitektura S.L.P.
Norman Foster is the founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design, rooted in sustainability. His projects include the Reichstag in Berlin, the Great Court of the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, airports in Hong Kong and Beijing and headquarters buildings for Hearst (New York), Apple (Cupertino), Bloomberg (London), Comcast (Philadelphia) and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (Hong Kong). Current research projects, in association with The European Space Agency and NASA, are exploring solutions for the creation of habitations on the Moon and Mars.
He is president of the Norman Foster Foundation, based in Madrid with a global reach, promoting interdisciplinary thinking and research to help new generations of architects, designers and urbanists anticipate the future. He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999.
In 1997, he was appointed to the Order of Merit and in 1999 was granted a Life Peerage in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, taking the title of Lord Foster of Thames Bank. His passions include cross-country skiing, cycling and aviation.
Luis María Uriarte. Architect/project leader. An acclaimed Basque architect with 30 years of experience. His work has been exhibited in Chicago, Shanghai and Sao Paulo and published in numerous architecture magazines (El Croquis, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, etc.). He combines his professional practice with teaching at Universidad de Navarra and Academie van Bouwkunst in Amsterdam. Key projects include the following:
- Reforma y ampliación del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2002
- Reforma interior de lucernarios, solados y acabados del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018
- Centro de Artes Escénicas Getxo Antzokia–Musika Eskola, 2018–Getxo (Bizkaia)
- Reforma y ampliación del Centro Público Docente Gandasegui, 2018–Getxo (Bizkaia)
- Centro de Producción Cultural Antenna, 2014–Galdakao (Bizkaia)
- Reforma del Pórtico de San Pedro, 1995–Llodio (Bizkaia)
The proposals by the six teams which are on display in the exhibition are: