The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum publishes the tender for the extension work of the Agravitas project by Norman Foster and Luis María Uriarte
- The base cost estimate for the project tender is 29.5 million euros and the work is expected to last for 22 months.
- The overall project estimate includes a 9.5% increase for the adaptation of existing buildings to new fire protection and evacuation standards, as well as a foreseeable increase in supply prices due to the current climate.
- The project guarantees the partial opening of the museum while the works are underway.
Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 30 March 2022.– The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum has published today on the Basque Country Public Procurement Platform a tender for the execution of the work to extend its facilities in accordance with the Agravitas project, signed by the architects Norman Foster and Luis María Uriarte, and submitted by the Foster + Partners Ltd. + LM Uriarte Arkitektura S.L.P. joint venture. Agravitas won the bid for the Extension and Renovation Project called by the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum on 11 February 2019 and whose decision was announced publicly on July 23 of that year.
Following the undertaking of the works to accommodate the old building—which began in September 2021 and whose completion is scheduled for the month of April—the main phase of the work has been put out to tender today, Wednesday, 30 March 2022. The deadline for submitting bids—50 calendar days from publication in the contractor’s profile—will end on 19 May 2022.
The project meets the requirements of the Bilbao City Council Civil Protection Services for the adaptation of the original architecture to current fire protection and evacuation regulations. Among other measures, compliance with these requirements will mean fireproofing most of the structure of the buildings, which date from 1945 and 1970.
For its part, the museum Executive Committee has taken on board the guidelines submitted by Krean engineering, the project consultant, which recommend including an additional percentage in the estimate due to the price rise in the current climate in the building industry. All of the above has led to a 9.5% increase in the overall project estimate over the initial proposal, resulting in a final tender base cost estimate for the extension and renovation of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum of 29.5 million euros.
As reported, the project is financed by a loan secured with Kutxabank on 17 December 2021, guaranteed by the Bilbao City Council, the Bizkaia Provincial Council and the Basque Government. The recently approved budget increase of 3.6 million euros, resulting from Civil Protection and contingency fund adjustments, will be financed through a special grant paid for in equal parts by these three institutions.
The work is expected to take 22 months from its commencement with the site survey. According to the proposed schedule, from the month of July the modern building will be closed to the public and the exhibition activity will be transferred to the old building, following the facility refurbishment tasks implemented in order to keep the museum partially open while the longer works are underway.
Goals of the extension project
The main goals of the project include, on the one hand, providing the museum with more space in which to stage its activities, both public and in-house, and, on the other, improving accessibility and respecting and enhancing the value of existing architecture and the natural environment in which it stands. The significant physical extension of the museum amounts to 6,743 m2 of new construction (more than 60%) and the remodelling of another already existing 8,000 m2. At the same time, the sustainability of the facilities is improved for increased energy efficiency and the museum is given greater prominence on the city’s architectural skyline.
The extension of the exhibition space for the collection and temporary exhibits is one of the project’s great achievements. The collection will have an additional 1,635 m2 (45% more than the current space). For their part, the temporary exhibits will have the new BBK-Museoa space, located on the top floor of the extension. This space and the new terrace together cover 2,200 m2, doubling the current exhibition area.
Another important goal impacts the space earmarked for public activities, which is increased by 81%, with the covered square of the monument to Arriaga—boasting more than 1,000 m2—gaining the most for visitor reception and services. Freely accessible via any of the entrances to the museum, this great public point of convergence will allow the door of the old building to be opened, thus restoring its original functionality to its neoclassical façade. The Arriaga space will also provide direct access to the new Arteder Documentation and Research Centre, which will benefit from more than 500 m2 in the basement of the old building.
The rest of the area gained is divided into spaces for offices, transit, services and facilities.