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Crumpled-Looking Glass Building in Spain

The Basque Health Department headquarters in Bilbao, Spain bends and inverts, twists and contorts in such a fashion as to appear crumpled, but it’s made of glass!  The unique architecture was meant to mirror the Guggenheim Museum and was designed by Coll-Barreu Architects.  Hailed as being modern, progressive, and organic, the building marks a sharp contrast with the classical architecture that surrounds it.

Constructed with SunGuard High Performance Neutral 41/33 glass, the builders boast of a low carbon signature, maximum energy efficiency, meeting strict zoning requirements and health and fire safety standards.  The glass glazing creates a facade that reflects light differently depending on the angle and the time of day with an effect similar to that of a prism.

What does the interior look like?  Expansive hallways of glass and shiny metal, smoked glass and dark metallic stone floors, stairwells that seem to levitate, gray lobbies of pounded metal and geometric skylights.  Think of the inside of a futuristic science station… and you won’t be far off the mark. 

At Glass King, we appreciate cultural heritage and pushing architecture into uncharted territory.  We are fascinated with the Basque Health Department Headquarters and the mind behind it.  From the entry doors to the decorative glass,  the sharp angles jutting into the sky, we wonder…

How on earth do they get up there to do window glass repair?  With a crane?  Certainly a ladder wouldn’t do, with the complexity of the building and the enormous size of the window glass panels.  We can see how glass repair companies in Bilbao could have moaned at the potential headache such a building on a busy intersection could pose.  Glass window cleaner companies certainly rejoiced when it was finished — we doubt they would ever go out of business there!  All in all, we at Glass King find this structure very interesting and worthy of a visit some day.

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