A new peripheral highway in Bilbao will substitute the A8 highway leaving the vast infrastructure obsolete. An opportunity to adopt this concrete barrier into the city and question the future vision of the site within the larger system will be the focus of the Unit’s study.
During the last 25 years Bilbao changed his profile from an industrial city through the globally recognized Guggenheim Effect which focused the urban regeneration along the River Nervion. The A8 Highway is the new backbone of transformation of the City.
New architectural typologies will be explored to connect city character areas with the recycled pedestrian infrastructure. Hybrid volumes will integrate mix-use activities through sustainable and contemporary solutions to ameliorate the future vision of Bilbao and to become catalysers of the existing character areas.
Whilst cities are growing at an increasingly rapid pace, now more than ever, strategies for urban transformation question not just expansion potentials but recycling existing urban fabrics. The High Line (New York) re-invented the use of elevated train rail-tracks which resulted with the emergence of new architecture that became the main drivers for the activation of the Meat Packing District.
The reinvention of the highway into a multilayered sky garden that roots to the city fabric through a series of unique hybrid architecture would be the challenge to pursue through a design process based on constant experimentation through drawing, model making and conceptualization via imagery and text. Students will formulize their individual vision to be exhibited in Bilbao. The concluded research and explorations will inspire the new cycle of ideas for the next Urban-Bilbao.
Esther Hui-Wen Chang
Jassim Al Nashmi