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Most Innovative Architecture Firm 2018 - Basque Country

Build Architecture Innovation winner Barru Arkitektura Basque Country 2018

Drawing on the vast experience of Xabier and his team, Barru Arkitektura has been very dynamic since inception, and remains committed to expanding and moving into new sectors. In his opening comments, Xabier shares an insight into the firm’s current practice areas and how it works alongside clients and its industry peers to create truly unique solutions that will stand the test of time.

“Here at Barru Arkitektura we are a small, flourishing company that mainly focuses on three areas that correspond to different scales of action. On the urban scale we like to work on mixed used projects that are related to the dynamics of the city. Therefore, we conduct a strong and thorough analysis of the urban conditions to create our vision of future scenarios. We implement the concept of urban cells at these scales, which enables us to design diverse and healthy urban projects taking into account issues like sustainable energy generation, transportation accessibility and landscape design among others.

“In our corporative and green buildings branch we focus on offices and services for companies and research facilities. These are projects that require a close connection with the branding culture and personality of each company. We are also successful at designing showrooms where we incorporate cutting edge audio-visual technology to create unique experiences connected with the brands.

“Finally, on the smallest scale we enjoy working with furniture elements where we test new materials and solutions. We also work with artists and other design professionals to produce singular projects and new solutions that push the limits of the current industry standards so that we can offer our clients something truly unique.”

Among the firm’s recent success stories is a project it undertook for a client in the food production space, which Xabier is exceptionally proud of.

Angulas Aguinaga Facade. BARRU ARKITEKTURA SLP

"Recently, we completed a research centre for Angulas Aguinaga, an innovative company in the food industry, where the activity to be held and the brief were quite open and we also helped shape it. We designed a complete refurbishment of a warehouse and it transformed it into an experience related with food and technology, where guests have an augmented experience of food tasting blending architecture and sustainable design with the latest audio-visual technologies. All the interior design and furniture pieces have been purpose built and the results are an amazing synesthetic environment. The façade looks like a weave landscape that relates to the sea and the water fluid geometries, as the company’s key products are those coming from sea. This design has been so successful that is about to become part of the branding image of the company.”

Looking to the future, Xabier believes that his industry’s increased focus on sustainability and liveability in city spaces will offer Barru Arkitektura the chance to expand its service offering even further.

“Ultimately, I believe that the future is exciting, and that we have many great opportunities in store for us at Barru Arkitektura. However, we have to be looking at the wider global context to fulfil local requirements and be relevant. Sustainability is already seen as a necessary issue especially for the liveability of the big metropolises.

“As such, now is the time to enrich the rational efficiency of the buildings with the more human quality aspects of sustainability that are difficult to measure. The connection to the nature, the views, the natural lighting, acoustics, healthy materials and wellbeing in general are going to be some of the future big issues to create a healthier architecture. These issues will be developed in an environment dominated by technology and big data, where buildings and cities still have a very long way to go. Our interaction with buildings will be much more intense and architecture can benefit from it. To achieve this, we will have to learn to manage integrated projects with fields that now seem far from architecture, but I believe that this can be a thriving future for our profession.”

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