Large retractable roof on the BBK Kuna building.

The BBK Foundation opened BBK Kuna in Bilbao. An emblematic 5-storey building that will serve as a Home for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project, led by 83 different entities committed to the goals agreed on by the UN in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda, was inaugurated on 25 October 2021. The event was attended by the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, the Biscay Regional Councillor, Unai Rementeria, the Mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, the President of BBK, Xabier Sagredo, BBK Foundation's Director of Social Care, Nora Sarasola, and Eider Inunciaga, Director of BBK Kuna.

The history of the “Casa Cuna”

BBK KUNA, originally called 'Casa Cuna' of San Antonio, is a building located in calle Urazurrutia, in the district Bilbao la Vieja. It was built in 1914-16 following the project design of architect Ricardo Bastida who subsequently, in 1939, renovated the building by adding an extra floor to the complex.

The modernist style building, with neo-Mudéjar touches, combines stone, brick and highly colourful ceramics on the facade. The layout of the decorative repertoire and the distribution of the spans and massifs are in the Catalan tradition. On the main facade there is a statue entitled La Caridad (Charity), a work carried out in 1914 by Federico Sáenz Venturini.

The main objective of this 'Casa Cuna' in Urazurrutia was to foster children before it later became the BBK Foundation's nursery school, until 2018. It has kept its name of BBK Kuna through to today, faithful to its objective of coming up with innovative ideas in all areas of social interest.

Sustainability as a key factor

Respect for heritage and sustainability have been the architectural project's main criteria. The choice of sustainable materials and construction systems for air conditioning and lighting was essential during the project's development.

Arquitectura Viva, the architecture studio in charge, was looking for sustainability management, beyond energy efficiency.

A more holistic point of view was pursued in this design, taking into account the way spaces influence visitors' emotions and sensations.

People's well-being is the main priority, and this is noticeable in the aesthetics throughout the building. Both acoustic and thermal comfort in the building's rooms were sought, as well as design strategies that strove to achieve emotional well-being through natural light and views, integration of artificial light, a strict choice of materials, and biophilic design elements (such as a green wall), producing a positive impact on the mood of the people who work in the building and visitors.

A roof open to the world

One of the most emblematic points of the building's redesign is the roof. The architecture studio wanted to create a bright central space for celebrations and events. It represents a symbol of that openness to the world for big ideas that BBK Kuna promises to offer.

To achieve this, the roof's configuration was maintained, but a glass roof was incorporated in one of its four sides in order to create a singular, bright space carrying an element of surprise.

This great entry of light is achieved through the installation of an Airclos glass roof.

The roof combines a central moving part with two fixed parts at the ends.

SNX 60 glass has been used for the glazing, a cutting-edge smart glass that combines maximum solar control and thermal insulation.

The fixed parts were created using products from the Airclos F105 roof series, a system that is noted for its high transparency and insulation capacity (U-value = 1.2 W/m²K).

The moving part is configured by two independent motorised modules from the Airclos T8000 series, a highly-resistant series specially designed to cover large spaces (glass up to 4 metres wide), with the minimum amount of visual obstacles and with excellent airtightness and insulation results.

In the case of BBK Kuna, 3-metre-wide glass panels were used, which achieved the much sought after large entry of light for this project.

Project details:

Category: Public works.

Location BBK Kuna, Bilbao, Spain

Builder: Urbelan

Architecture:: AV Arquitectura

Installers: Airclos, Luabi Decor

Photography: Prixmadrone