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Santander inaugurates the Botín Centre

JUL/17

A new building now overlooks Santander bay from the heart of the city, the Botín Centre, a space for culture and activities built by the foundation of the same name, designed by Renzo Piano in collaboration with the Luis Vidal practice.


The architects distributed the programme into two raised bodies with a floating appearance, which are perceived as two shells in tension opening up in their ends in the direction of the bay and the city’s maritime façade. The curves of the design, both in the ground plan and in the section, reinforce a certain organic character. The larger volume is intended for art exhibitions, while the other one houses a large auditorium and the rooms for the rest of the foundation’s cultural and educational activities. The central nucleus, which concentrates the accesses, extends the public space of the Pereda gardens on the ground floor and is configured as a great terrace on the upper level.


The smooth glass of the transversal façades contrasts with the opaque membrane that lines the shell of the two bodies, with a granular and continuous texture. The weight of both volumes also contrasts with the lightness of the intermediate structures, which appear to be slotted in between them. The museum wing features a large roof opening that allows daylight into the interior, a light that is highly nuanced by the various lighting control systems.


The centre of this foundation linked to Banco Santander is the star of an operation with a clear corporate aim. It also entailed the urbanistic remodelling of the area and the enlargement of the emblematic Pereda gardens. The landscape project by Fernando Caruncho included the construction of a tunnel that takes underground the road separating the gardens from the sea. In this way the bay, gardens and maritime façade have found a point of union in the new beached vessel on the Santander coast.


RENZO PIANO BUILDING WORKSHOP

Via Rubens, 29
16158 Genoa. Italy

T/ +39 01 061 711

www.rpbw.com

italy@rpbw.com

 

LUIS VIDAL + ARCHITECHTS

Calle de Velázquez, 76
28001 Madrid. Spain

T/ +34 91 359 39 00

www.luisvidal.com

info@luisvidal.com


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