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Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Year: 1999 - 2011
Client: Fundación Cidade da Cultura de Galicia
Architect of Record: UTE Andres Perea Ortega
Structural & Mechanical Consultant: Burro Happold
Structural Consultant: Euroestudios
The program for the regional government’s City of Culture of Galicia called for museum, library and performance spaces. We designed six buildings, conceived in three pairs: the Museum of Galicia and an International Art Center, the Galician Library and the Periodicals Archive, the Music Theater and the Center for Cultural Innovation. Four of these are complete and open and have already attracted more than three million visitors; the theater and art center are to be built when Spain’s economy rebounds. In the history museum, library, and archive, spaces of vastly different scales are used for displaying art and artifacts, and flexible auditoria and general office and program areas can accommodate any number of programmatic needs.

The hilltop site overlooks the medieval center of Santiago and required new links to the city through vehicular and pedestrian paths. The design of pedestrian caminos, or ways, on the site is derived from the city’s historic street pattern. The caminos run between the buildings and lead to a multi-level plaza used for outdoor events. The forms of the buildings, related but different, seem to roll out of the landscape and echo the shape of the surrounding hills. The use of local stone, design of double roofs, and an on-site power plant contribute to its environmental sustainability. This long-term project began when we won the international invited design competition and reflects our ability to work with multiple parties, from contractors to client, including several changes in local political leadership.



Model photos