Zubiaur School of Music

The new Zubiaur musical school in Amorebieta-Extano, in the outskirts of Bilbao, was the result of an architectural competition, held in 2015.

The building converts its dividing wall in an extra facade to complete and resolve the perimeter of the actual facilities. The original wall of the adjoining “frontón” ballcourt is saved and incorporated as the real protagonist of the project: It is given visibility and the layers of time become recognizable in the different overlapping walls, preserving the local heritage and memory.

Once the formal autonomy of the adjacent cultural center is assumed, the Musika Eskola will work as an independent element, respecting the orthogonality and abstraction of the facilities, but still being a singular and recognizable element.

The new façade-dividing wall is separated to create a ground floor patio and a void adjacent to the rest of the floors.

The floor closes around a patio that will work as drainage and rainwater depository in case of a flood. It is given an offset from the longitudinal facade to build a porch across the floor and to emphasize access.

The top floors complete the program, forming a three-floor high regular prism, parallel to the new façade-dividing wall, and a corbel. Compact floors maximize the available area, creating an effective, useful box.

To achieve a completely open-plan floor, the structure is pushed to the perimeter, so the facade becomes self-loadbearing. The stairs are outside this prism, enclosed inside glass for greater transparency. The stairs become an architectonic experience, providing the user with a view of the park, clarifying the dimensions of the patio, and highlighting the building character as an extended, abstract and singular space.


Javier de las Heras Solé


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