Puente de Zubizuri / Campo Volantín- Bilbao (ESP)

puente-zubizuri-bilbao-espana

 

Footbridge across the Nervion river, completed in 1997. The bridge has become infamous because of the glass surface that becomes very slippery when it rains (in Bilbao 128 days per year). The city solved the issue by applying tapestry -probably not the artistic haute cuisine as favored by architect Calatrava, but at least it was more practical. The tapestry caused new issues when in strong winds it would come loose and be able to lift a person from the ground.

To better connect the bridge to foot and cycling traffic routes, a footway was added by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Calatrava sued the city for infringement of the moral rights of his creation, a case that he won, although he was rewarded only 30.000€ instead of the modest 3 million he had claimed (Calatrava subsequently gave the money away to charity). Does this mean the artistic value of a bridge is more important than its practical use? One can only imagine how appalled Calatrava must have been when he first heard people were actually walking across his work of art! How far do the moral rights of an architect go? The city should just have torn down the whole bridge and have it replaced by a practical one, I bet moral rights would not apply.

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written.

extension

This screen shot taken from Google street view shows the bridge´s extension that Calatrava went to court about. The extension seems very practical and makes you wonder why it wasn´t part of the bridge´s project in the first place. On the other hand the style is clearly different from the actual Zubizuri bridge (let´s face it, the extension is plain ugly) so one can understand why Calatrava was not very happy when it was added to his bridge.

La pasarela de Zubizurri, construida en Bilbao (y conocida como “la de los morrazos”, por la ilimitada capacidad deslizante del material empleado), y que provocó un cruce de querellas entre el Ayuntamiento y el arquitecto que se saldó en tablas.

Het loopoppervlak van de brug is van glas. Mooi natuurlijk, maar wanneer het regent wordt de brug spiegelglad, wat geleid heeft tot veel ongelukken en valpartijen. De stad heeft er daarom in 2010 een vloerkleed op gelegd van 74 meter lengte (zie foto). Bovendien was er een probleem met de brug: hij ging wel van de ene naar de andere oever maar sloot helemaal nieaan op bestaande verkeersroutes. De stad nam een japanse architect in de arm om de brug wel te laten aanlsuiten, waarna Calatrava de stad voor de rechter daagde vanwege inbreuk op zijn intellectuele eigendom. Auteursrecht op een brug!? Calatrava wilde er 3 miljoen Euro schadevergoeding voor hebben. Hij won maar kreeg “slechts” 30.000€ die hij vervolgens schonk aan een goed doel in de stad Bilbao.

De bedoeling van de brug was dat die er zou liggen om naar te kijken. Het verhaal gaat dat Calatrava onwel werd toen hem verteld werd dat er mensen over zijn brug liepen.

Durante esta década, el Ayuntamiento ha tenido que cambiar todas las losetas de cristal –560–, y como son de diseño, cada unidad sale a 240 euros. El desembolso de las arcas municipales supera ya los 140.000 euros.

http://elpais.com/diario/2009/03/12/cultura/1236812407_850215.html
http://www.eitb.com/es/videos/detalle/1327684/video-calatrava-bilbao–puente-zubizuri-aeropuerto-la-paloma/

http://www.bilbaocurioso.com/la-aventura-de-cruzar-el-zubizuri/

The Zubizuri (Basque for “white bridge“), also called the Campo Volantin Bridge or Puente del Campo Volantin, is a tied arch footbridge across the Nervion River in Bilbao, Spain. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge links the Campo Volantin right bank and Uribitarte left bank of the river.

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3 comments on “Puente de Zubizuri / Campo Volantín- Bilbao (ESP)

  1. Hi Bert, the footway was added to extend the existing footbridge. The extension of the bridge crosses a road and connects with routes that are frequently used by pedestrians and cyclists. I have added a screenshot taken from Google street view that shows the extension in its full glory.

  2. I don’t find the extension ugly. Arata Isozaki built something functional and affordable. What’s unattractive about that?

    Have the hideous love locks sprouted on any of Calatrava’s bridges yet? Those things are a true abomination.

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