Teaching English in Bilbao, Spain, Spotlight on the Environment, Eco-Architecture

Bilbao, Spain is a leading example of sustainable projects beginning way before the eco-trend. In the early 1920s Bilbao faced major financial setbacks due to the decline of the steel and port industries, and thanks to early eco-pioneers, innovative solutions have regenerated their now flourishing markets. In 1922 they launched ‘The Strategic Plan for the Revitalization of Metropolis Bilbao’, and today are enjoying a healthy steel economy.

Bilbao is located in the Basque Country of northern Spain, and is home to several examples of eco-architecture that demonstrate the city’s commitment to sustainable development. The sports arena is built like a tree, and has ‘leaves’ that can be removed to let in natural light to allow air circulation omitting the need for air-conditioning.

One notable example is the Alhondiga Cultural and Leisure Center, designed by Philippe Starck. The building, which was originally a wine warehouse, has been transformed into a multipurpose cultural center with a rooftop garden and a large indoor plaza. The building incorporates sustainable design features such as a rainwater collection system, energy-efficient lighting, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Another example is the Basque Health Department Headquarters, designed by Coll-Barreu Arquitectos. The building is a striking example of green architecture, with a sloping green roof that helps to insulate the building and reduce energy consumption. The building also incorporates natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels, and a rainwater harvesting system.

In addition, Bilbao’s Zubizuri Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is an example of sustainable transportation infrastructure. The bridge includes a pedestrian and bicycle path, which encourages alternative modes of transportation and reduces car usage.

These are just a few examples of eco-architecture in Bilbao, which demonstrate the city’s commitment to sustainability and green design. Learn more about teaching English in Spain, and experience the benefits of a community working to be eco-friendly for almost a century.

Photo by Bernd ? Dittrich on Unsplash