Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country

Musikene Gipuzkoa, Music Centre of the Basque Country, San Sebastian Architecture, Spanish Building Design

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country

Basque Building Development in Gipuzkoa, Spain – design by GAZ arkitektoak, architects

5 Jan 2017

Musikene, Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco

Location: Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, near Bilbao, north east Spain

City: Donostia (Basque) / San Sebastián (Spanish)

Design: GAZ arkitektoak

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country, San Sebastian

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country

A solid dark volume that when it is carved, a bright and luminous interior is discovered. The building projects along the city of San Sebastian, the artistic activity developed inside, music.

Photos below © Aitor Ortiz

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country

Musikene, Higher School of Music of the Basque Country, considered a reference as a learning centre in European scale.

This sculpted building responses to dense and compartmentalised needs programme in a constrained plot.

This situation makes the building use the maximum volume allowed by the regulations and enlarge the surface of the façades as much as possible in order to light each and every space.

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country

The volume veils a precious piece inside, the auditorium, which becomes the heart of the building.

In addition the building houses 75 different size acoustic classrooms, 32 individual practice cabins, library, music archives, administration and teacher areas along with many other facilities.

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country

Even though the building can appear to be an arbitrary sculpture, the project is the result of meticulously adapting the needs to the geometry and demands of the plot. Leading to a design, which seeks to be representative of the artistic activities that take place inside.

The building arises as an inner self-sufficient element, nevertheless answers back to its surroundings giving a response to the urban structure and nearby buildings.

Photos below © Jorge Allende

Musikene San Sebastian Building

The buildings formal designs comes from the need of enlarging the façades surface in order to illuminate the different spaces. Three impressive incisions sculpt the solid volume through some clear and straight cuts, projecting the soul and the brightness of the building towards the city.

The contrast between the different façades has been strengthen by the use of high brightness black colour in the covering part and gold colour for the cuts.

The materials evoke with a subtle language the finishing of the musical instruments.

Musikene San Sebastian Building

This is a building with a simple and clear concept but with a tough and sophisticated technical development.

The foundation reaches 25 meters of depth with the phreatic surface at -2.5 meters. The buildings structure consists of a steel skeleton witch supports the complex geometry conditioned by the big open space for the auditorium at the main floor.

The most important issue to take into account is the acoustic needs that affect all the spaces of the building, needs that ensure the success of the functionality of the building.

Musikene Donostia Building Musikene Donostia Building Musikene Donostia Building

Technically the need to highlight the contrast of the façades has been solved by covering the skin of the building with smooth black lacquered aluminium, which stresses the window holes. Nevertheless, to provide the courtyards with an abstract character, perforated galvanized golden trays have been used, this allows light to go through and as they are stamped, sunrays are reflected too.

The combination of just glass and steel and the strict modulation of the buildings skin contributes to make control of the economic cost.
The building is designed following sustainability criteria, based on energy saving and the optimization of the installations.

Musikene Donostia Building Musikene Donostia Building Musikene Donostia Building

Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country, San Sebastian – Building Information

Name of work in English: Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country
Name of work in original language: Musikene, Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco
Placement: Nominee
Prize year: 2017
Location: Donosti, Spain
Year completed: 2015 (Year began 2012)
Studio: GAZ arkitektoak
Authors: Asier Atxurra de Blas (1970 Spain); Unai Zelaieta Garate (1971 Spain); Aitor Gurtubay Gálligo (1972 Spain)

Technical architect: Virginia Canales Osinaga
Structural engineering: Ramón Roman Alonso
Acoustical: Alfredo Knörr de Las Heras
Consulting: César Sesma
Security: Iñaki Almodovar

Program: Education
Labels: Music
Total area: 3.595
Usable floor area: 13.096,31
Cost: 1.311,39
Client: Basque Country Education Department
Client Type: public
Map: LatLng: (43.308915, -2.0099407000000155)

Mies van der Rohe 2017 Award Nominations

Address: Europa Plaza, 2, 20018 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Phone: +34 943 02 37 50


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Musikene, Music Centre of the Basque Country, San Sebastian

Website: Musikene | Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco