URBAN DESIGN UPDATE Newsletter of the Institute for Urban Design July/August 2006 Vol. 22 No. 4 ROWE AND STRUM PROVIDE NEW PERSPECTIVE ON BARCELONA. IN BILBAO LEGORRETA AND STERN ADD HOTEL AND SHOPPING CENTER. Barcelona, considered by many urbanists, the most dynamic of European cities, is wearing its laurels lightly this summer. The universally high quality of housing and of neighborhoods, together with vigilant preservation of the Gothic Quarter, is striking to any visitor from North America. Urban designers await details on proposed new museums: Barcelona New Books • Zaha Hadid’s Plaza de Les Arts Museum of Film and Video; • Maritole Bohegas & MacKay’s Museu del Disseny de Barcelona; • Frank Gehry’s Mobility Museum planned along a high-speed rail track from Sagrera Station to Marseilles, pegged for 2020 completion. At the same time, Barcelona architects and urban designers were in a moment of reflection and transition. Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar is seen as a vertical disruption to Barcelona’s horizontal skyline by design and as a visual joke by architecture-ignorant tourists. For a city rushing to create its own Silicon Alley, there remains the frustration of a phone system that doesn’t work for international calls and a Hertz rent-a-car pick-up system requiring two hours. Universitat Politecnia de Catalunya will continue its English Language Masters in Architecture and Urban Culture in September reports Suzanne Strum, head of Studies. Professor Strum, herself a graduate of Columbia's Urban Design program, is author of Barcelona Architecture, soon to be published by Watermark Press, Sydney. Another overview of urban design issues in Barcelona is presented by Harvard's Peter G. Rowe in Building Barcelona: A Second Renaixenca, available now from Actar Publishers, Barcelona at $30.00. Also available is Joan Busquets’ Barcelona: The Urban Evolution of a Compact City, Nicolodi editore, Via dell’Artigiano 30, 38068 Rovereto (Tn) Italia. Bilbao New Hotel New Shopping Center With the opening of the Sheraton Bilao in 2004, the Abandonibaria neighborhood has achieved a critical design mass. Designed by Legorreta + Legorreta, the hotel expresses luxury through onyx lamps red travertine and green marble. Pink highlights on the façade contrast with red brick. Zubriate across the street is a shopping center designed by Fellow Robert Stern. Pedestrian arcades within the building provide retail shops, a food court, restaurants and, on top floor, a cinema. Abandonibaria, with a new plan by Cesar Pelli, is Bilbao’s current focus for revitalization. A tower by Pelli is scheduled to go up soon near the Guggenheim Museum, less that a 10-minute walk from the Sheraton.