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Foster + Partners wins Bilbao Fine Arts Museum contest

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Foster + Partners has won an international competition to design a €22 million extension to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in northern Spain

The top AJ100 practice – working with local architect LM Uriarte Arkitektura SLP – was unanimously chosen by the jury. It beat five other shortlisted bids from Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Rafael Moneo, BIG, Snøhetta and SANAA, themselves selected from more than 50 entries.

The judges said the winning proposal ‘carefully respects the existing, recovering the historical values of the museum and projecting it towards the future with a new grand gallery that rises over the constructions of 1945, 1970 and 2001 to write a new chapter in the life of the institution.’

Foster + Partners founder and executive chairman Norman Foster said: ‘We are delighted to have this opportunity to create a major new extension and remodel the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. Our design will restore the existing mid-20th century building and setting to its original glory, create a new publicly accessible atrium space and add major new galleries for contemporary art in a floating pavilion.’

The project will restore the museum’s original 1945 entrance and internal ground floor sequence of spaces while also creating a new 2,000m² galleries structure resting ‘respectfully’ above the existing complex.

Shutterstock bilbao fine arts, basque country, spain on 21st june 2019

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in northern Spain

Source: Shutterstock

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in northern Spain. Existing building.

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