Bilbao: The Soviet-esque Toy Town Built From Different Sets

Words + Photography by Luke Alland, using Leica's Q2 Reporter and SL2.


The best way to describe Bilbao, is as if the city planners got together with some Lego, Duplo, Playmobil and Meccano, to build anything they wanted with absolutely no consistency. Every street is different, and none of it really makes any sense as you can’t get into the rhythm as to what each area actually feels like. The Old Town aside, everything is a strange juxtaposition of decades, with some areas like San Francisco, and others feeling more like Colombia or Brazil than Spain. On the flip side, from an architectural standpoint, it offers something I don’t think I've ever seen in a city before: the freedom of design. You won't see many of the sterile new builds being thrown up around London here, which is incredibly refreshing.


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