Page 1

A residential area with a high percentage of public housing, Miribilla is one of Bilbao's new suburbs. Prominently located on a small hill in the neighbourhood, the Church was conceived by IMB architects' studio right here in Bilbao, all elements very much in line with Catholic rites. As the church's interior is visible from the outside, even the least devout of passers by will feel the call to worship.

Other shining examples of original buildings in this district, along with the Church, are the Bilbao Sports Arena, the combined Fronton and sports federation offices, as well as the new facilities for the Municipal Police and Fire Departments of Bilbao.

Inaugurated in 2010, ACXT's design of Bilbao Sports Arena is structured into two modern masses: a huge sports court seating 8,500 spectators, and a sports centre. Outside, onlookers will see a building simulating an enormous tree composed of permeable plastic green leaves acting as a screen to cover the upper part of the building while simulating tree branches. On the other hand, the faรงade of the Sports Centre is composed of prefabricated textured concrete panels, simulating a big rock.

There is an enormous skylight in the roof allowing the pool area to enjoy natural light, while several smaller skylights illuminate the gymnasiums.

Another architectural icon of the district of Miribilla is Fronton Bizkaia, built in concrete and a black slate exterior, which by night is a beacon welcoming all entering Bilbao via Miribilla. The largest of its kind in Euskadi, architect Javier GASTON designed a building for over 2,800 people. Next to the fronton, a two-walled ball court, is a trinket court for indoor versions of Basque handball, pilota, a modern-day version of Jeu de paume. The new home of Kirol Etxea, this sports facility bring together all the sports federations in Bilbao and the School of Basque handball under one roof.

To put the finishing touch to Miribilla, the modern, 15,000 m2 building, with groundbreaking design throughout its exceptional infrastructure, is to house both

Public Security and Civil Protection. This last edifice is work of Juan COLLBARREAU architectural firm, also responsible for the design of the Basque Health Service Building in the Ensanche district of Bilbao.

The complex is comprised of two interconnected buildings, the Department of Public Security building, with an irregular glass faรงade, and the austere rectilinear Civil Protection building, both connected to one another by an overhead walkway. The most notable element of this complex is the construction of a 50 m high training tower


Bilbao owes its popular nickname of Botxo to its unique position of being nestled among mountains, which has limited its spatial growth. Now...