Redesign of the soup kitchen “Apostólicas Etxea” in Bilbao — EDE Foundation, Imago and ALC

Practice Lab

EDE Foundation is a group of social organizations from the Basque Country working in the generation of inclusive and sustainable changes through knowledge and direct social intervention. He is collaborating with Imago (chefs and creators for gastronomic models transformation) and ALCK in an innovative project for the redesign of a new model of soup kitchen and the reconfiguration of EDE Foundation’s new headquarter called “Apostólicas Etxea” in Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain).

One of the main objectives of this collaboration is to transform the current “Apostólicas Etxea” soup kitchen into a multidisciplinary space that transcends the soup kitchen (this being its main function) and catalyzes gastronomic and social initiatives at different levels. The space will be a meeting point for the neighbourhood, the city and all who would like to be part of it.

The knowledge associated with gastronomy has great transformative potential in the socio-economic sphere, as well as in urban and territorial development processes. This capabilities are driving more and more new practices that hybridize gastronomy with social innovation.

Restaurants play a very important role in shaping the cultural identity of a society. Over the last decades, restaurants has undergone a high transformation, assuming today a leading role in the transmission of the values and in the way people relate to each other. Restaurants like Bocusse, Brass, Noma, Mad, Massimo Botura, etc. are a clear example of this.

In this context, ALCK and Imago have established a collaborative space in the field of social innovation and gastronomy that has been operating since 2019. 

EDE Foundation shares this strategic vision to transform the current “Apostólicas Etxea” soup kitchen into a multidisciplinary space where they will keep promoting human development and social fabric through research, consulting, training and employment, but with the singularity of integrating an area dedicated to the hospitality industry. 

Contemporary hospitality could become a model of social transformation if it’s properly managed as a part of a multidisciplinary space aimed at revitalising circles of people and urban areas, such us “Apostólicas Etxea”.

From ALCK we bring our Open Innovation Platform approach, integrating a process of mapping, listening and co-creation of multilevel initiatives that will transform the space into a social and community catalyst for services, small and medium enterprises, large-scale public-private collaborations or experimentation in various fields. The added value of the listening process is to understand in greater depth the existing perceptions and social dynamics in Bilbao related to our process and to be able to connect this information with the conceptualization of the new space.

This approach is connected with the technical work, the design and conceptualization of the building developed by Imago in collaboration with IMB Arquitectos.

The main objectives of this collaboration are:

  • To pilot a new model of soup kitchen connected with the community in which it is framed
  • To transform EDE Foundation’s headquarters in Bilbao into an advanced experimentation space for social innovation interventions
  • To establish a new space for strategic collaboration between the three entities

Sector: Food Systems Transformation and Gastronomy / Equal employment, Gender Equality and Inclusivity / Cooperativism

Location: Bilbao, Basque Country

Year 2021