Published: Friday, October 20, 2006
Looking up the facade of the Sheraton Hotel, Bilbao, from pavement level. Each room has a lattice window with 9 squares that animates the facade and gives an impression of the interior organization when seen from the outside.
The light-and-colour-filled central atrium viewed from one of the upper galleries, with a detail of the glass elevators and the half-vaulted ceiling.
The hotel is part of the new Ria 2000 masterplan for the City of Bilbao, Spain. Located several distant blocks from the Guggenheim Museum, it is the last property on the Victoria Maria Boulevard before approaching the river.
The property is a small site of 17,650sq.ft. The hotel was designed as a compact volume in harmony with the context that surrounds it. The plan of the City indicated construction upto the bordering limits of the property, with a height of 10 levels and one extra set back of 3 meters.
Inspired by the work of the artist Chillida and the solid roots, history and culture of the Spanish Basque Country, the building is treated like a sculpted block of solid stone, to which certain perforations have been tilled.
The building within its context - with the corner tower.
The perforations were studied from a "sculptural point of view on the exterior," the architects state. Depending on the different views, the lower levels open towards the park and the upper levels towards the mountains; once the height has surpassed the adjacent commercial building, the volume ends with a tower which converts itself into a lighthouse at the corner.
The facade is treated like a lattice window with 9 squares per room to induce a sense of intimacy and at the same time, to achieve a sense of a massive volume by articulating the exterior facade.
Views into the 8-storey central atrium from entry level - left: the bank of glass elevators visible upon entry to one side; right: looking back towards the entrance facade.
In its interior there is an 8-storey central atrium that culminates in a ceiling forming half of a vault. Light plays a very important role in this space. Illuminated by a number of perforations, a different light and shadow game unfolds at each hour of the day.
The Chillida bar on the ground floor
The bar and restaurant is located on the ground floor, while the suites are distributed across different levels. The pool and the health club is located on the 6th floor, in one of the big perforations with the park view.
One of the executive suites, with the 9-square lattice window clearly visible on the right.
The hotel has more than 211 rooms, between standard rooms and suites, having all the installations of a 5 stars hotel.
View of one of the terraces
The rooms have been oriented along the perimeter so that guests can enjoy the different views like the mountains towards the north, the river and the Old City towards the west and the park towards the south.
View from the terrace of the presidential suite overlooking the Old City and the mountains beyond.
Architecture-Page is an online design resource, featuring architecture and product design from the world over. More
Architecture-Page is brought to you by Page Productions