Pormetxeta Square by Xpiral and MTM Arquitectos


Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Spanish studios Xpiral and MTM Arquitectos have completed a public square sheltered by steel trees that hold nets of boulders.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Pormetxeta Square, on a former industrial site in the Basque town of Barakaldo near Bilbao, creates a series of new thoroughfares, reconnecting the town centre with the river.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Hexagonal coloured tiles have been used to give variety to the ground surfaces, which have street furniture fixed to them by springs.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Photography is by David Frutos.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

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Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

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Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Below is some more information from the architects:

Pormetxeta Square, in Barakaldo (Bilbao)

The new Pormetxeta Square, located close to the Nervion River, was the result of the Competition “Europan VI” developed in 2001.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

The project was selected to take part in the Spanish Architecture Exhibition - On Site - that was organized at MoMA from New York in 2006; lately the exhibited model has been acquired by the museum for the permanent collection.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Industrial identity

The district of Barakaldo is located in a very steep slope territory above the Nervion River, where a complex urban planning was developed in the Sixties and was leaded by “Blast Furnace from Vizcaya”.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

We have proposed to provide it with a new geography identity, by forgetting and removing the last urban planning that Urban-Galindo had created for this area.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Marrow of Urban Permeability

We modified the existing planning in order to created the New Square of Barakaldo (25.223m2), for the purpose to create to new advantages for the city: on the one hand a new access point to the urban centre, on the other hand a better fluidity and mobility from the city to the river, due to the industrial factories were shut in the permeability of the city.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Equipped Communications Arteries

The very steep slope of the plot has become in an opportunity of creation of a new urban typology. Taking advantage of the high difference between existing levels that it is 20 meters between the upper level and the bottom level of the plot, building a equipped slope, “the Pormetxeta Square”, with the next strategy:

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

First of all several access and approach are linked: the railway platform, the highway connection, the entry towards the promenade river, the pedestrian and road streets, the access from the high street, the reached from the low street, the Desert Square, the school …

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Secondly we have save all the space that is just under of each “Pormetxeta Ramp” in order to get 2.341m2 of commercial and service public facility.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

The third advantage is working as a micro-public space: micro-squares, points of meeting, rest stands, outdoors stays, in other words building a phenomenological sequence.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

And the last advantage is that it is acting as a multifunctional element, it works as a street furniture, balustrade, pergola, lantern… creating a very equipped place.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

The animated square

The Pormetxeta Square appears under the long ramps. There are some holes that qualify the space with playgrounds and it is become in a unique topography. A big artificial trees of 11.5m tall, that are made of COR-TEN steel, hang boulders on the cup of the tree, they work as a parasol and under them the only things that you can feel are the laughter of children, the roller skaters, the talks…

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Click above for larger image

The Pormetxeta Square and the different levels routes, that make up at the same time an unique project and also and an in independent project, due to the contrast between both intensify their purpose.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Click above for larger image

Architectura vs Urbanism
Our aim it is to build city. Understanding the public space and private space as hybridization between the city planning and the edification model, where the Architecture and the Urbanism are mixed at all times.

Pormetxeta Square by MTM Arquitectos

Click above for larger image

Consequently we have planned an urban strategy as a business and dialogue platform between citizens, creating a new social cohesion.

See also:


Metropol Parasol
by J. Mayer H.
BGU University Entrance
by Chyutin Architects
The High Line
in New York
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zafar-Tashmukhamedov/100000846182818 Zafar Tashmukhamedov

    Nice work but seems dangers. Stones on my hand ohh no. sorry I will not sit there!

  • L says

    Scary … completly overdesigned… so much effort for so little athmosphere

  • Dan

    too much of everything!!!

  • Taj McHall

    looks a bit studenty to me,only really successful in the contextless renders

  • Mario De Vries

    It might be a bit overdesigned, but I think the main issue is that an understandable and more or less logical 2D groundplan is transformed into a 3D jungle of conrete, metal and patterns. I think it will be very interesting to walk through it, but from behind a laptop it's very hard to understand the purpose..

  • http://blog.faverodesign.com/ sean

    something about boulders . . . in net . . . over my head. yeah no thanks.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BrunoDeSaeger Bruno De Saeger

    Ben j'espère que leurs treillis sont suffisamment protégés contre la corrosion et solides ! Je n'aimerais pas me choper une pierre sur la tête… Et puis c'est beaucoup de matière et si peu d'effet… Enfin, à voir en réel sans doute.

  • pim

    this is kinda ugly right?!

  • twork86

    I wonder when a square is so intensely programmed, is it still a square?

  • steve

    so spanish….at once exciting and crumbling, ugly and over done and passionate

    in the real pics there are plastic bags and dead cats and –

    and in summer
    - Yow It's Scorching Hot — only shade…. is… death boulders!