The auditorium of the University of the Basque Country called Bizkaia Aretoa, will host this European Conference for the first time.
This building is located in one of the most emblematic parts of Bilbao. L-shaped, it opens out onto the estuary and the Guggenheim Museum, right in the centre of Avenida Abandoibarra, between the Padre Arrupe footbridge and the bridge known as the Puente de Deusto. It has a constructed surface area of over 9,000 square meters, spread over six floors. The 2,300 m2 ground floor provides a space for the building’s main auditorium, Mitxelena, with room for 441 people, a large 400 m2 foyer, two meeting rooms and a spacious gift shop. The first, second and third floors have an area of just over 1000 m2 and will house the offices of the Vice-Chancellor and the Governing Council, two conference rooms for 161 and 66 people, five exhibition areas and offices for several services of the university. In addition, the building has in its first floor a 400 m2 terrace with amazing views. In the basement there is a car park and several storage rooms.
Nowadays, this building hosts all kind of social, cultural, academic and scientific events. Most of them are organized by the UPV/EHU, but there are also a few organized by external entities. Due to this, Bizkaia Aretoa has become in a reference place for the field of events in Bilbao.
It is an emblematic building designed by the architect Álvaro Siza, who has given priority to “maintaining the scale of the place, respecting cornices and placing the ground floor at the service of the pedestrian, open and permeable, offering views inside with huge wings that integrate the private space in the public area and vice versa”.