Zaha Hadid’s Island, Radical Plan for Bilbao

Updated on August 8, 2019 in Masterpiece 2019

Zaha Hadid’s Island, Radical Plan for Bilbao
Image Source: ArchitectureLab

Zaha Hadid was once known as the paper architect because her works never made it off the blueprint, things started to change for the good in recent years, her work has started to mushroom across the world, the latest proposal by Hadid is a yet to be named island, the radical plans for the redevelopment would see the neglected Zorrozaurre peninsula converted into an island.

Zaha Hadid plans to cut off the peninsular that joins it to the mainland and reconnect the newly formed island to the city with eight bridges.

The newly formed island has a land area of 72 hectares (180 acres) with 6000 houses and a technology center, the total cost estimated to be at USD1.43 billion and work is expected to commence in 2010, completion date would be around 2025 – 2030.

Julia Madrazo, deputy mayor of Bilbao and regional minister for town planning and the environment, said the city did not want Hadid simply to design something beautiful. “If we had wanted just a symbol, we would have asked her for one building,” she said. “This is about more than just the image. It is about creating a city to live in. We all have dreams of how a city could be, and I believe this is the closest thing to those dreams.” – Source: Guardian

I was taught that architecture is all about responding to the surrounding site and building, not isolating them. It is an evolution process not revolution, new buildings should respond to their neighboring fabric, style and form in a contemporary manner. What annoys me is the way architects present a solution, first they create a problem then champion themselves as a hero with a solution. Food for thought? University of Porto and the opaque corridors.

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Zaha Hadid’s Island, Radical Plan for Bilbao
Image Source: ArchitectureLab

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3 Comments

  1. I think something was lost in translation…

    “This is about more than just the image. It is about creating a city to live in. We all have dreams of how a city could be, and I believe this is the closest thing to those dreams.”

    What this is really saying is that Isozaki, Gehry, and Calatrava aren´t bringing in enough tourist dollars so we´re going to make a giant land grab to generate a lot of taxes and try to rejuvenate the slumping Spanish construction industry.

  2. The definition of an artist is one who creates a problem, and then solves it. Obviously they are asking Hadid for a piece of art–she is designing a new city that doesn’t necessarily have any surroundings or buildings to absolutely respond to. Calatrava doesn’t build bridges, he makes art. Frank Gehry doesn’t build buildings, he makes art. The Sydney opera house is a piece of art. I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid doesn’t “respond” to its surroundings, but it sure solves some problems. Often designers see problems that the client cannot imagine, that’s what the designer is being paid for, to imagine all scenarios, and come up with a good solution. Art happens! The best solutions can be complex or simple, or both–for example, Central Park in NYC. The initial vision of the Park was simplicity itself, and yet the past hundred years have strengthened and irrevocably engaged NY in a long-term love affair. Central Park is NYC. The best solutions are an artform of their own. Architecture is not “always” about responding to the surrounding fabric. Sometimes the surrounding fabric needs a good shakeup and total rethink. Sometimes it needs to be swept away. It really depends on the program, and obviously Bilbao has Hadid on the mind. Obviously Bilbao wants what an architect of her reputation will give them. Nothing ordinary and unprosaic and responding to the neighborhood across the street.

  3. Oh my God! I was born clos to Bilbao and I guess the people from Bilbao will use for Hadid’s island the same solution they have used for Calatrava’s footbridge with slipping glass pavement: as a way to protest the people destroy the pavement with stones every time a citizen slips and falls!!!

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