Txikiteka – Azkuna Zentroa
Decoration: Isidoro López
Year of completion: 2021
Place: Alhóndiga de Bilbao – Azkuna Zentroa (Bizkaia)
Materials use: beech plywood
Photography: Biderbost Photo
The initial project for the Mediateka, which is located in the Alhóndiga in Bilbao, was carried out by Landa Ebanistería in 2010 under the direction of the Estudio de Decoración Trabe Asociados (Trabe Asociados Decoration Studio), with Isidoro López as the site technician.
On this occasion, the refurbishment of the space to create the new Txikiteka – Azkuna Zentroa was carried out, with Isidoro López as the designer and site technician.
The same materials used previously were used to refurbish the Txikiteka: beech plywood with an extra-matt stained varnish finish, so as not to lose the harmony with the existing environment.
Reception area of the Txikiteka.
The reception area is made up of a counter to attend to staff accessing the 1st floor, and a partition. The front part of the counter is made of laminate and the worktop is made of beech plywood.
A work desk is included, with two customer service workstations, and the interior is fitted with a coated iron base on both the front and the top. Cable grommets have been installed to conceal the entire technical installation of computers and IT systems managed by the owner.
Behind the counter there is a 250 cm high curved partition that creates a dividing zone between the workstation and the space intended for use by assistants. It includes two built-in furniture units, which protrude on either side, and ceiling support brackets to ensure stability.
Access to the children’s area.The children’s area can be accessed from the reception area through 2 large, side panels which have been painted white, where the little ones can draw pictures, comics or write stories. The panels have been arranged vertically to resemble the pages of an open book.
Tree-shaped piece of furniture in the Txikiteka.
The book simulator provides access to the Txikiteka, the area for the youngest visitors.
A tree-shaped piece of furniture has been created by fixing its base to one of the building’s existing columns. A circular library with bookshelves has been created on the same column. Branches, simulating those of a tree, made of 6 cm thick beech plywood, slide over the base.
Due to the weight of these generous, solid branches, specific machinery was used to put them in place, allowing them to be attached piece by piece. Hanging components were attached to the ceiling by means of a structure that is connected to the vertical axis.
The entire Mediateka has been stained in the same tone as the wood and varnished with a matt finish.
Details of the branches and shape of the tree.
All of the holes and the shape of the tree’s branches were made by cutting each piece individually using a numerical control machine. This meant that all of the branches, holes and shapes were exactly the same, creating the aesthetic effect that the space required.
By initially designing all of the parts on a computer and cutting them with a robotic machine, it was possible to make perfectly structured trapezoid-shaped shelves.
The round column was edged to create the central circle required, with a polygon that fitted perfectly piece by piece and then crimped to the top of the tree.
Play area in the Txikiteka.
Steps were created at three heights and fitted with curved shapes and side safety screens, with holes to match the holes in the central tree, and the holes on the sides were covered. This was done to prevent children from injuring themselves while playing.
The side partition and the ledges on the steps were made of beech plywood and the fronts, between the steps, were made of MDF and then painted later.
A channel was created on each step to insert LED lighting. The lighting is very comfortable and beautiful, does not cause any discomfort to the eyes, and illuminates the whole area perfectly.
There are a number of alphabetically numbered coloured boxes with books on the sides of the platform to facilitate reading in this area.