BILBAO – A dated, 1960s-style public square near Bilbao, Spain, has been given a new architectural identity.
The existing plan was modified to create a bigger, more fluid and accessible space to act as the new urban centre of Barakaldo, about 11km from Bilbao. The entire suburb is set upon a steep sloping plot of land; the Pormetxeta Square has a 20m difference between the north and south sides of its plot.
To combat this geographical challenge, Xpiral and MTM Architects designed an integrated system of ramps and awnings. There are several access points linking pedestrians to roads, the railway, river promenade, neighbouring school and shopping street.
The square is shielded from the elements by a series of 11.5-m-tall Corten steel awnings that double as street furniture; they resemble large parasols or faux trees.
Photos courtesy of David Frutos