About this talk

Running time: 43 minutes

Michael Wilford, unsupported by his father in his choice of career, had to train the hard way, at North London Polytechnic evening school while working by day for various architectural practices. By good fortune, one of these was Stirling & Gowan who had just won Leicester University Engineering School competition. Later, when Stirling & Gowan split up, Wilford was invited to rejoin the practice and later became a partner.

Michael Wilford, as the former partner of the late James Stirling, inherited the design project for the beautiful new bus station/railway station for Bilbao in northern Spain. At the point when Stirling died, the contract for a second version of the scheme had just been signed. Now, a third version, developed further by the new partnership Michael Wilford & Partners, has been agreed; and it is this version which Wilford describes.

In it the aim is to contribute something to the city generally, to reinforce and intensify the activity of the central area. The new building reconnects the old and new parts of the city. It contains a bus station and two railway systems (at two different levels) with, sandwiched between, a public area for waiting, ticketing and shopping; plus a World Trade Centre, offices and public housing.

Michael Wilford


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