by Snell in Architecture on Saturday 3 November 2007

With the ten year mark passing us by since the building of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the bureaucrats have decided that the ‘Bilbao Effect’ needs another shot in the arm. This time they’ve turned to Iraqi-born architectural supremo, Zaha Hadid — who seems to be everywhere at the moment — except that this time it is not a mere building but rather a complete island. She plans to cut off the land that joins it to the mainland and reconnect the newly formed island to the city with eight bridges. The urban development will occupy 72 hectares (180 acres), with 6,000 new houses, two technology centres and a four hectare (10 acre) park. The Basque regional government has estimated the total cost, including transport links, business development and other infrastructure, at €1.43bn (£987m). Work is expected to start in 2010, with a finish date between 2025-2030. [see also Chanel Architecture]