The Btek – Interpretation centre of Technology by ACXT Architects consists of two apparently uninterrupted pyramid-shaped volumes that connect below ground level. The building is located on one of the highest points of the Vizcaya Technology Park and close to the Bilbao airport’s flight path for takeoffs and landings. It aims to create a landmark in its landscape.
+ Project description courtesy of ACXT arquitectura
BTEK is an interpretation centre for new technologies, aimed at student visitors.
The Centre’s promoter, Parque Tecnológico, S.A., (Technology Park) set out the following as the most important guidelines:
- Create a very flexible and varied exhibition space, able to accommodate all types of exhibitions.
- Installations should be highly energy efficient (geothermal systems for climate control) and that use renewable energy sources (a building-integrated photovoltaic system connected to a 60kw network).
- The geometry of the covering where the solar panels are integrated should be triangular—similar to the shape of Technology Park’s logo.
The site’s location, on one of the highest points of the Vizcaya Technology Park and close to the Bilbao airport’s flight path for takeoffs and landings, helps with the aim of making the building a landmark in its landscape.
The building consists of two apparently uninterrupted pyramid-shaped volumes that connect below ground level.
- The first is a heavy, black volume that emerges from the earth; it is enclosed by three metallic facades and completely covered with solar panels that form a patterned network.
- The second volume, contrasting with the first, is formed by two facades of curtain walling with an artificial grass-covered roof that starts off as an extension of the terrain and continues on to cover the entire site.
- Artificial grass also covers the below-ground-level connection, allowing it to merge with the site and its surroundings.
The five galleries are designed to be visited sequentially. In order to serve for a wide variety of possible exhibitions and contents, the galleries have been designed with very different characteristics: from those with ceilings at a conventional height to galleries with variable-height ceilings, reaching up to 16 metres of clear height, and with or without natural lighting.
A wide ramp for vehicular traffic has been designed near the pedestrian entrance, allowing access to the car park and installations rooms, as well as allowing for direct access to the exhibition galleries if large pieces need to be placed.
The pedestrian entrance is formed from the first volume, the fold on a corner marking the building entrance and access ramp. As the visitor descends, a metallic projection covers the arrival path and gathers the visitor in.
Called “The Ravine” for its narrow dimensions and 18-metres of clear height, the reception space marks the initial passage into the building. The sense of squeezing through is emphasized by the narrowing of the path and the ceiling heights that become lower as the visitor moves along.
The building’s exhibition set-up is arranged on three floors terraced in arrangements parallel to the site’s steep slope, so that the ground floor and the second floor have direct street-level access to the exterior. The three floors are connected by large stairways and ramps that follow the geometry and the volume of the whole so that the building is experienced as a single, undivided space.
+ Project credits / data
Project: Btek – Interpretation centre of Technology
Location: Derio, Bizkaia, Spain
Client: Parque Tecnológico S.A.
Building contractor: OHL
Architecture: ACXT Architects
Project Architect: Gonzalo Carro
Collaborators Architects: Javier Pérez, Carlos Miguel Guimaraes
Project Management: Gonzalo Carro
Costs: ATHOS (Pedro Berroya + Aitziber Goikoetxea)
Structure: Javier Eskubi, Amaia Oyón, Ángel Gómez
Environmental Engineering: Francisco José Sánchez, Jon Landaburu, Luis Alberto Ribacoba, Begoña Sánchez
Public Health Services: Luis Alberto Ribacoba, Begoña Sánchez
Lighting: Susaeta iluminación
Photographers: Aitor Ortíz, Gonzalo Carro (construction process)
+ About Gonzalo Carro López, ACXT Architects
Getxo 1974. Architect project manager in the team from Bilbao. Member of the Society of Architects ACXT (IDOM Group).
Winner of the architectural competition for the construction of the Basque Historical Archive Building and Hospital de Cruces General Services Building, finalist in the competition of urban planning and housing typological proposals, Europan 6.
Btek Project Architect Project Manager, interpretation centre of technology, a project that is scheduled for the 8th BIA Sao Paulo Architecture Biennale 2009 and obtained an honourable mention in the AR awards 2009. He was also responsible for projects such as District Heating buildings in Zorrozaurre and Bolueta neighbourhoods in Bilbao and Antondegui neighbourhoods in San Sebastian or Zierbena rowing club. He currently works in the KAM museum, Kultur Atea Museum in Bilbao.