Arup will lead a joint venture including leading landscape designers Arquitecture Agronomia and local studio G&C Arquitectos to design the new masterplan that will blend Bilbao’s Abando rail station into the heart of the city, beating a number of competitors in this international competition. 

Sustainability and inclusivity drive the winning masterplan design vision, which will integrate the historic Abando rail station into the fabric of the city, stretching some 130,000 metre-squares above the future high-speed rail tracks.  

A new 3.5-hectare park will cover the future HS tracks and act as a green vector enhancing connectivity in the area, integrating the surrounding neighbourhoods of Zabala, Bilbao La Vieja and Abando.

Sloping down from the station, the park will feature a central meadow and pocket gardens that can host community activities and providing walkable routes to encourage active travel and sustainable mobility modes.  

The regenerative masterplan will both celebrate the industrial legacy of the district, while future-proofing the area through provision of new proximity services to the surrounding communities, a key driver for Bilbao´s municipality.

Abando rail station’s historical roof, the Bóveda, will be preserved, and provide new public space for the community. The mixed-use development will include commercial and residential developments including public housing as well as other spaces like a museum and other public amenities for an intergenerational public. 

The masterplan design for the intermodal station is respectful of the infrastructure below ground, making provisions and suggestions for enhanced accessibility and improved internal flows. On the mobility front, the design also makes provisions for a tram enhancing sustainable connectivity across the city.

What they say

Arup and our partners are delighted to have been selected to deliver this transformational masterplan for the integration of Abando station into the fabric of the city. Our design celebrates people, nature and the unique identity of the surrounding communities, creating a sustainable legacy that will enhance Bilbao’s resilience. 

Flavio Tejada

Director, Arup