Designed by architect Juan Coll-Barreu, the headquarters building of the Basque Health Department in Bilbao, Spain, is a fantastic prism of glass and steel. The most prominent feature of the building is its polyhedral-shaped glass façade that allows light into the interior, making it a transparent, luminous space.
The building is located at the crossroad of the two most important streets of the Ensanche (1862) in Bilbao. Its form and structure is a creative response to restrictive zoning regulations. Vertical communication and services are grouped together along the spine within the building, around which seven open-plan office floors and its prismatic outer shell wraps. The prism grows upwards, reducing its volume into a tower of sorts. Here, at the apex of the building, is the meeting room. A room with a great view. Inversely, the auditorium and its adjoining services are located in the building’s basement. And below that- three levels for employee parking.
The façade not only meets local building code regulations, it also provides acoustic insulation for the building. The folded elements of glass in the façade create multiple views of the city and change their appearance depending on the viewing angle, the time of day and the season, demonstrating the dynamic spirit of the city.
Architects: Coll-Barreu Arquitectos – Juan Coll-Barreu & Daniel Gutiérrez Zarza
Location: Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Collaborators: Fernando de la Maza, Jorge Bilbao, Pablo Castro, Gorka García
Structure: Mintegia y Bilbao
Budget: 12,935,436 EURO (US $17,9M)
Electrical Consultant: ndotec
Area: 9200.0 m2
Project Year: 2004