Connectivity – Europan 11

Recovering the identity from the street and the city’s level reference

Despite the usual attitude of importing identities from star architectures or fragmentary interventions which are often self-absorbed projects, this is a proposal of building a new urban façade on the Ibaizabal river recovering its own identity according to a reinterpretation of its own properties. One of these it’s the big dimension of the pieces that configures the actual site. The main infrastructures such as the sewage, the shoreline affectation that forces a building separation to avoid the contact with water, the railway lines, the main roads or the shipyards architecture are clear evidences of an unfriendly space to create an urban life in it.

The transformation of the area over time has given rise to such a great mobility infrastructure that has broken many of the fragile historical relations. The Ballonti’s axis, for example, is the main territorial connector but it also blocks the neighborhood connections because of its definition.

Despite the difficulties, the project considers that the city can be extended to the ancient promontory so it challenges the city scale recovering. The “Gran Vía” is the main connection to Sestao historic center so this road is the leading player of the project not only to extend the city but to let the city “reach the water”

Once recognized the horizontal linearity of the new urban mass, the proposal offers a new walkway under trees on top and another street called “Galindo marshes street” in contact with water besides the river. Between these main lines, the new central space is created for Sestao. This new project adds to the other new transformations of Barakaldo area and other interventions as the Ibaizabal river operation that configures the new metropolitan operation for Bilbao. All the operations are connected by the water flows.

The continuity of the park and the ledge Portopín Chavarri

Sestao urban growth is ledged by topographical phisonomy. On the north, Chavarri street and on south, the Ondejada y Portopin Parks mark the limits of the city. Both lines meet on the project area and they can be extended to the Ibaizabal river defining the promontory although the actual Ballonti’s axis brokes this connection with the water. The aim is to recover that historic dominant condition giving continuity to both green areas throughout the project. In this sense, the top part of the promontory is defined as a new green public space which offers a new viewpoint to the area. This new reference contains new facilities and a new singular building that configures a new port area.


Rebuilding the city level from infrastructure urbanity

We propose a new north-south relation for the renewal of the industrial area. For this, the project creates a new platform at level +7m which allows the relation between both sides. Ballonti’s overpass remains as an “object of urban architecture” that introduces tension composition in this central space

Two orders appear. The first one is characterized by its “ urban alignment” along the Gran Via and the river walk. In this case, it is about giving continuity and permeability to the preexistent directionally axis (future execution of UA1) so the new volumes can be integrated in the global whole sector. The second order is named “accumulation” brokes in a way the previous alignment and creates an apparently random arrangement of a number of volumes of different programs disposed along the Ballonti’s and Gran Via streets. The Ballonti’s axis is the continuous element that links the buildings through a walkway at level +22m. With this order, the project aim is to create a tensional and interconnected urban place understood as a new point of centrality and metropolitan reference.

The project approach doesn’t look for a final built form but to define a possible action which can be realized in time. This kind of urban planning is flexible so it allows the introduction of different architectures and programs without changing the global concept. We hardly believe that in this type of metropolitan contemporary spaces it is necessary that urban planning understand their unpredictable and changing conditions.

Title: AM662   Sestao Connectivity

Project Name: Re-founding the territory

Location: U.E. 2 PAU Vega Galindo, Sestao

Date: March 2011

Category: Urban/architecture

Surface: 210.000 m2. Project surface 106.700 m2.

Organizer: EUROPAN 11

Team: Alvaro Cuéllar J., Anna Gutiérrez M., Jordi Mas T.


Architecture student: Jorge Mascaray