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The links between the Bilbao architect Juan Daniel Fullaondo and his city are the focus of an exhibition

  • This morning it was presented at the Bizkaia Delegation of the Official Basque-Navarrese Association of Architects. Organised by the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the UPV/EHU, it includes a selection of works and several issues of the architecture magazine 'Nueva Forma', of which he was director
  • Comprising several panels, plans and models, it is the first exhibition devoted to this outstanding architect of the second half of the 20th century

The Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSA) of the UPV/EHU today presented an exhibition in Bilbao on the Bilbao architect Juan Daniel Fullaondo. It was held at the headquarters of the Bizkaia Delegation of the Official Basque-Navarrese Association of Architects (COAVN), where it will be on display until 7 January 2022, as part of the Mugak/ International Architecture Biennial of the Basque Country. Entitled 'The Bilbao architectures of Juan Daniel Fullaondo (1964-1978)', it focuses on the architect's intense links with his city.

Various panels, plans and models give shape to this exhibition, which brings together a selection of works built in the period between 1964 and 1978, mostly located in Bilbao and its geographical surroundings. "Reviewing this phase of his trajectory fifty years later is a more than pertinent occasion to rediscover and contextualise this valuable catalogue of works, which to date has remained practically indifferent to critical attention", emphasised the director of the ETSA, Juan José Arrizabalaga.

During the aforementioned period, Juan Daniel Fullaondo, in collaboration with close architects and friends (Fernando Olabarria, Álvaro Líbano, José Luis and Félix Iñiguez de Onzoño) designed and built around 60 works in his city of origin, Bilbao, and the surrounding area: residential projects (single-family and collective), libraries, schools, cultural centres and health centres make up the first professional phase of his career.

The exhibition highlights ten of his built works: five residential block projects in Alameda de Mazarredo (Bilbao, 1964), Mendizabal (Durango, 1971), Neguri (Getxo, 1970), Landako (Durango, 1975) and Fadura (Getxo, 1976); two school group projects in Txurdinaga (Bilbao,1968) and Rekaldeberri (Bilbao,1969); a public space project, Ezkurdi Square (Durango, 1968); an office building, the European Business Bank (Bilbao, 1975); and a public facility, the public library of Portugalete (1973). "It is a pleasure to host this exhibition at our headquarters as it allows us to highlight the legacy that Juan Daniel Fullaondo has left in our territory", said the president of the COAVN in Bizkaia, Asier Benavides.

They are represented by means of a selection of plans from the files of the execution projects that have been approved or licences, together with images of the current state of the proposals. Digital prints of four projects have also been made, concluding in an exhibition that aims to transmit the unquestionable architectural value of these works, thus bringing to light one of the most interesting periods of the architect Fullaondo. 

A second complementary line focuses on the attention that the architect also paid to the cultural, architectural and artistic production of the Basque Country, through the magazine 'Nueva Forma', of which he was director. Thus, the exhibition includes several issues of the publication, an activity with which Fullaondo was defining, over the same period of time, the cultural landscape in which his work was immersed. 

For this purpose, several plates from magazines relating to the Basque Country are displayed in four blocks: the first on Bilbao, with reproductions of the four issues that focused on the city; the next two panels focus on Basque architects and artists, with special issues dedicated to Oteiza and Chillida, with whom Fullaondo maintained a special critical and friendly relationship; finally, a selection of more projects by the Bilbao-born architect.

"It can be said that Juan Daniel Fullaondo put Bilbao on the cultural map of the second half of the 20th century in our country, with its own artistic and architectural identity, in contrast to the historical cultural centres of Madrid and Barcelona", said the exhibition curator, Joaquín Lizasoain.

This evening, at 19:30, an opening ceremony open to the public will take place at the Bizkaia headquarters of the COAVN. Afterwards, the curator will give a guided tour.

The Programme is being prepared