A beautiful geometric park has sprouted upon a once-barren slope that split two suburbs in Bilbao, Spain. Designed by ACXT, Pau Casals Square is a vibrant expanse of green space that connects the surrounding neighborhoods and creates a place for people to sit or stroll. The striking public park consolidates an area prone to landslides and is composed of alternating triangular sections that incorporate the site’s existing rock with patches of greenery.
Situated between the districts of Txurdínaga and Otxarcoaga, Pau Casals Square is part of a series of projects that Bilbao has undertaken to improve urban spaces in the city’s outlying areas, creating connections between different neighborhoods and increasing the quality of life for residents. These neighborhoods grew during the post-war era, when they suffered from poor urban infrastructure and disorderly planning, which created rocky unused spaces like this site along Jesus Galindez Avenue.
In approaching the renovation, ACXT sought to reinforce the site’s steep and rocky slope (which experienced continuous landslides) while breaking down the barrier that it created between the two districts. The architects chose to preserve the existing rock wherever possible, interspersing it with triangular patches of vegetation and reinforcing weak parts of the slope with sections of of concrete.
The project has also renovated an old electricity substation into a children’s play area by tiling the site with sections of grass, flowers, and soft rubber. The new park creates a beautiful connecting space, and its inclined promenade provides stunning views over the city.
Photos by Aitor Ortiz