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Published: Friday, October 20, 2006

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Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao

The hotel is part of the new Ria 2000 master plan of the City of Bilbao, several blocks away from the Guggenheim Museum. Inspired by the work of the artist Chillida and the solid roots, history and culture of the Basque Country, the building is treated like a solid stone block, relieved by a lattice of perforations.

By: Legorreta + Legorreta Architects

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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.

Project Details

  • Project Name: Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel
  • Status: completed in 2004
  • Client: Starwood Hotels & Resorts - Sheraton Hotels
  • Location of site: Bilbao, Spain
  • Built-up Area:  18,000 sq.m.
  • Project Type:  Hotel
  • Principal Designer/s:  LEGORRETA + LEGORRETA
    (Ricardo & Victor Legorreta )
  • Associate Architect: TDM Arquitectos
  • Executive Architect: Aurtenechea & Perez-Iriondo Arquitectos

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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 Project

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.

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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.

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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.

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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.

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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.

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
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.

Architecture-Page | Sheraton Abandoibarra Hotel, Bilbao, Spain by Legorreta + Legorreta Architects
View from the terrace of the presidential suite overlooking the Old City and the mountains beyond.

Credits

  • Text: Courtesy the architects
  • Photographs: Jaime Ardiles - Arce / Jose Latova
  • Compiled by Suprio Bhattacharjee

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