The new CSD KUNSTHAL design school center occupies an industrial pavilion in Zorrotzaurre, an artificial island in Bilbao, that has been renovated by abr/+/arquitectos, which works from offices in Madrid and Hondarribia. The firm’s founders, Jesús Arrecubieta, Mariano Benavente, and Ricardo Ruiz, teach at KUNSTHAL and have applied their educational methodology to the project.
The pavilion, a vaulted shed of reinforced concrete completed late in the 1950s by Manuel Aldonza, now incorporates a structure of cross-laminated timber panels. The same paneling is applied to the enclosure and the roof.
El aula es el bar (The classroom is the bar) was the motto of the Moonde educational plan that KUNSTHAL drew up in 2014, expressing the philosophy of its teaching-learning process. The new center features a bar designed in the spirit of creating flexible spaces to be used as needed, and of encouraging encounters and interaction