The legend of Zorrozaurre

Wednesday 10 Oct 2007

Zaha Hadid has completed the conceptual masterplan for Zorrozaurre in Bilbao

Zorrozaurre covers a 60 hectare area cradled in a long curve of the Nervion River just across from the city’s centre. This former port and industrial area will become home to nearly 15,000 new residents and will provide workshops, labs, studios, and offices for nearly 6,000 working people. Zorrozaurre has been nearly separated from its neighbouring communities by a canal opened to enlarge the port during its heyday, and this canal is destined to be extended for flood-control purposes in future years. This will make Zorrozaurre an island occupying a strategically key position in the future expansion of the city and integration of the region. Zaha Hadid Architects have responded to this challenge by defining a dramatic urban fabric and bold approach to infrastructure and the waterfront that will highlight the great significance of its natural and strategic position.The plan permits the dramatic character of Zorrozaurre’s surrounding topography and the broad curve of the Nervion to subtly influence Bilbao’s well-defined urban grid. The resulting building alignment generates a finely textured ground sweeping the length of the site, contracting to conform to the small scale of existing fabric and expanding in response to more open spaces. In this way the plan accommodates both historic buildings and major new investment, while linking both to a generous public waterfront. Zorrozaurre’s future skyline presents a jagged profile with fine gaps, reminiscent of densely built waterfronts around the world.

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