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Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura

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Promenades and boulevards of the Enlightenment in the Basque Country

The construction of the first green spaces in our cities coincided with one of the most prolific and unitary periods of Basque architecture, a time of urban revival promoted by the Enlightenment, which was held between the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. 

At the same time as our cities were being ennobled with urban projects and neoclassical architecture built in just a few decades, with a common idea of architecture that still today unifies and embellishes the urban landscape of our capitals and towns, a more fragile and subtle urban transformation – for that no less transcendent – spread throughout practically our entire territory, embellishing not only the big cities, but also the towns and even the rural villages: the promenades, avenues and tree-covered fields built outside the city walls for the usage of new social customs of the time, defined for the first time a transition between our cities and their surrounding territory. These represent the most tangible result of this inflection in urban consciousness driven by Enlightenment ideas and were often the origin of the extensions that enlarge our cities, giving their historic centers their present form.

The exhibition presents the results of three years of research that have been possible thanks to the agreement signed between the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of the Basque Government and the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the UPV/EHU. The plans, drawings and graphics of the main Basque promenades and avenues, produced by a team made up of lecturers and students of the UPV/EHU's Degree in Architectural Foundations, are complemented by facsimiles and large-scale models of the two most ambitious city projects ever planned in our country: the Nueva Sangüesa city by the architect Santos Ángel de Ochandategui and the city project for the Puerto de la Paz in Abando, Bilbao, by Silvestre Pérez.

Organizer: Architecture School, UPV/EHU


Andrés Caballero Lobera and Aritz Díez Oronoz


16-11-2021 / 21-12-2021


8:30 – 20:30


The Programme is being prepared