KCAP Architects&Planners has won the prestigious masterplanning competition for the development of a 70 hectares site at the Bay of Pasaia, San Sebastián, Spain. The site is set in an amazing landscape and is currently used for harbor activity. It will gradually become available for redevelopment. This is a key opportunity for the surrounding communities which are in need of regeneration. Together with sustainability advisors ECOFYS and the local consultants, LKS engineering and architect Ángel de la Hoz, KCAP designed a strategic plan to redevelop the bay.


The redevelopment of disused dockside area is an undertaking which will have a far reaching impact on the entire region. Clusters of new economic activity will generate new employment in a broader range of sectors. The project does not envision to result in one city with one character, but rather celebrate a variety of local inspired identities. The urban plan defines an archipelago of varied waterfront developments, setting broad conditions for local involvement of the different communities. It provides the local communities with the space to grow, to extend their identity and exercise diversity. The growth concentrated around public transport hubs.


The cultural heritage of the port and the typical appearance of the bay are preserved. The different character zones are unified by a public space network around the docks and along green boulevards. Within this robust structure, a sensitive network of public spaces is formed, allowing current and new inhabitants of the bay to enjoy the fabulous water surface and practice the already popular water sports of the bay. Around the bay, new landmark buildings like a cultural centre and a naval museum will become regional destinations.


Ruurd Gietema, partner of KCAP, states: ”For this project, we drew from our experience with regeneration projects like the Olympic Legacy in London and waterfront projects like Hafencity in Hamburg. Our main focus is on the strategy and process, not on the blueprint design.”


 “The cooperation with local partners helped us to get a good understanding of the full complexity of the assignment. The project is tailor made to the local context, and it incorporates overarching ambitions like our integrated sustainability approach” says Jeroen Dirckx, project leader at KCAP.

KCAP, together with its consultants, will remain involved to elaborate and refine the winning masterplan concept. During the next weeks an itinerant exhibition will tour the local municipalities of the Bay. The final version of the masterplan will be delivered in October 2010.

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